Tuesday, 25 November 2008


A window smash-
and a woodpigeon lies on the garden flags,
a female sparrowhawk flaps and lands,
yellow talons curling into a still-warm breast,
beak immediately tugging clumps of grey/white down.

Soft feathers roll in the quiet breeze,
spreading over the path, catching in plants.
Amber eyes alert.

Flesh is hooked up in strips,
bright red organs plucked through clavicles,
sinews stretched like elastic till they snap.
With much pulling and twisting
and clamping of claws,
a wing is finally wrenched off
and cast aside, so the hawk can resume
flaying and swallowing flushed meat.

When the carcass offers nothing more,
she spreads her wings,
desert the mangled bones and feathers -
she has survived another day.


Dave King said...

Gripping. It put me in mind of Edwin Muir. Very different on the page, b ut not so different in the heart. Beautiful in a terrible sort of way.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Nature raw in tooth and claw, Carol. Liked it!

Anonymous said...

It must have been a harrowing sight!
Did the mistle thrush take fright?


Mistlethrush said...

DK and Weaver - thanks.

DM - the mistlethrush considered it a privilege to witness it and didn't want to disturb the well-earned meal. There was no dignity for the pigeon though.

Susan Richardson said...

Is this one of your poems-a-day for November, Carol? How has it been going?

Mistlethrush said...

Yes it is Susan. How's it going - errm I've more gaps than poems.... but I will write the missing one by the end of December. The sooner the better really because I wanted them to be about birds in November - a turbulent month of all weathers. Today we've been in a shawl of fog all day.

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.