The one the Ancients Called “Devil Bird”.

by | Mar 25, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

In the middle of March, the excitement starts.
Each morning I wake, and listen for sounds,
Search through the window for new arrivals.
Every year the same impatience for migrants.
When will they come? the Swallows, the Martins.
And the one the ancients called “Devil Bird”,
All coming from Africa to stay for a while.

The last to arrive, the first to depart.
Long scythe shaped wings, black brown feathers,
With just a white chin patch, and a forked tail.
They may not be as handsome
As the Martins, and Swallows,
Whom they outshine in courage and panache
And are complete for life in the air,

The Magpies chatter in their old nest,
Always alert, and minding every ones business.
Leaning on my thumb stick, I watch natures ballet.
Listening to the Skylark’s heavenly song,
The sounds and scenes of nature all around.
Then ! flying fast, chasing each other,screaming their laughter.
The “Devil Birds” arrive to complete the scene.

True name Swift, nick name “Devil Bird”,
Always in the evenings they play their game.
Chasing each other in joyous encounter.
Yelling, screaming! In through doors, out through windows,
No wonder the ancients gave them that name.
Mating for life, sleeping, eating always in flight,
They merge ,touch, making love as true lovers do.

Then in late evening they circle higher and higher,
Where out of mans sight, they sleep in flight.
Twinkling stars, echoing satellites their lullaby.
So much time in the air, their legs almost useless,
Unable to land for they cannot take off again.
Forced to nest high up on rafters , and ledges,
Where they flop off to launch into flight.

Then! In just a few weeks, their young now flying,
They take off, and leave foe Africa once more.
At night I think and dream of your courage,
As high over the Veldt you circle and sleep,
Undeterred by wild animals, or human wars.
You are unique! The perfect flying machine,
Swift in flight and name – Devil Bird too.


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