Cinereous winged, even swifter than the wind,
they fly in, through a chink in the horizon.
All that breathes – moves – quakes, quickly
darts for cover. The hare into the hawthorn bush,
the dove to its cot – the vole to the sanctity
of its hole in the north side of the bank.
A red-legged partridge calls her chicks; in
haphazard fashion, she shepherds them
to the depths of the woodbine.
And so, tentatively, they hover …hang as if suspended
by invisible thread in mid-air, then they drop like a stone;
a stoat becomes a tasty breakfast for a hawk. Likewise,
an unsuspecting toad – too slow, in its futile attempt
to hide beneath a rock …
Meanwhile, I look on in with mixed emotions. Me
who wouldn’t, couldn’t harm a soul – both in pity
and in complete and utter awe. Not just of birds,
fish, insects or animals, but of all the untold others
ruled by tougher law, as I sit in cloistered kitchen; those
governed by nature’s inexorable law of sheer survival.