Birdbrain - Poem by Diane Hine
Streaking, braking, twisting snatching,
Willie Wagtail’s insect catching;
acrobatic chatterbox - a skite in black and white.
Overhead a falcon gliding
banks, adjusts and dives, colliding;
nail-gun talons strike and lightning reflex locks them tight.
Falcon claws rake empty feathers;
sacrificial Wagtail tethers.
Spiralling, he falls inside a crown of needled pine.
Cradled in a twiglet fence,
the Wagtail blinks, regaining sense.
A splintered wing’s a burden on his lacerated spine.
Wagtails are unused to resting,
soon the broken bird is testing;
asymmetric flutters as persistent seconds slip.
Drifting, slowly dehydrating,
ants begin investigating.
Fleeing nips, he hops until he’s stranded at the tip.
Still he watches insects flick;
the body clock’s insistent ticking
urges nesting, feeding, singing, borders to defend.
Tiny size can be deceptive,
this small bird is quite perceptive,
always making plans, with many duties to attend.
Finally he launches - sailing
briefly floats and cartwheels flailing;
Willie Wagtail tumbles through the nonjudgmental sky.
Insects hover, soon to plunder-
Can a bug feel smug?
but maybe birds can choose to linger or to fly.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
It is fearless, territorial, inquisitive and clever.
Comments about Birdbrain by Diane Hine
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