Monday, 14 November 2016

January Robin

Another poem built around an observed robin, but which took a markedly different tack, being a meditation on length of days and mortality, is 'Longevity,' posted on 22 June 2015 and linked here.


January long a robin clung
To the cloud-high wands of a sycamore;
From morning dusk to evening gloam
It swayed in the sky and sang and hung.

Those wands, red-skinned in the low-sun sky,
And shaken like reeds by a slapping wind,
Clutched leaflessly at the floss-bunched clouds
Like suds on water circling by.

Absent to feed but soon returned,
That red-bibbed robin challenged all;
Tits and starlings were turfed off twigs,
Blackbirds jeered at until they adjourned.

A song so sweet, an ire so hot,
His fiery breast like glowing coals,
Come March, with heath and glade for food,
He’d want a mate, and young begot.

But by month’s end he disappeared,
The wands waved emptily through the day,
The gossipy starlings in busy groups
Bounced through the tree quite undeterred.

That robin, was he pinned as prey
By a rushing cat? Did he twist a wing
In a botched escape? Was he sick? Did he starve?
The thrashing sycamore will not say.

© February 2014


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