Tag Archives: poem

Starling mimicry – a poem

We often see starlings flying in a
great flock,
swirling in evening sky before plunging earthwards
to their roosts, at this time of year,
when there isn’t much to cheer;
yet when I sat  by the quayside at a
Scarborough dock,
One suddenly flew down, alighting on a nest of lobster pots.

It sat there preening and picking
about, not in the least shy,
completely untroubled  by my
presence and others walking by
looking across the harbour at fishing
boats and yachts.

As if to prove whan an individualistic
character it could be
it proceeded to run through its
reportoire of birdsong mimicry;
great tit, chaffinch, green
woodpecked and curlew,
amusing itself and thoroughly
entertaining the lucky few.


Have just been given this poem, but don’t know who wrote it.  I think it’s lovely.

The Breeze by Ernie Teal

Gently the breeze plays with the blossom of the cherry trees,
spilling the petals and disturbing the bees,
caressing the beeches and rippling the corn,
carrying messages of another dawn.


A blackbird awakening fluted his song!
But alas his greeting was not for long!
A sparowhawk up aloft that morn and
keen to feed her newly born,
clutched the chorister from his bower.


To the songster had come at this early hour,
a death as swift as that hawk in flight:
more would die ‘ere day turned night.
For nature is ever red in tooth and claw.
He who made all things decreed it so.


The feathers of the innocent fluttered down,
covering the earth in a chastening gown.
That gentle breeze played with them
as it passed by
with a whisper, or was it a sigh.
Ernie Teal


Ernie is on Radio Humberside on a Sunday morning and I heard him read this poem. 

I asked him for a copy of it and he kindly sent it to me.

Ernie knows such a lot about the countryside, about animals, birds and he also has a rich store of memories. 

Thanks Ernie for sending me this.


I do agree that  it is natural for birds of prey to attack.  I think the problem comes when the number of birds of prey becomes so high that it puts songbirds at risk.  What do you think – if you have time please let me know.

The darkling thrush

I  leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware

The Darkling Thrush
Thomas Hardy

This poem shows how one ordinary bird can affect a person. It paints a picture of a desolate, cold landscape and out of that landscape comes something that cannot be understood. Why should an old, frail thrush on a freezing night (when surely food was short) sing a joyful song? Answer unknown.



Bird Alchemy


Since suns have set
and oceans rolled
mankind has sought,
so we are told,
star-locked secrets
to unfold
that magic which
turns base to gold.


Pale sorcerers,
Magicians wise,
weird wizards
scanning orbs and skies,
are searching for
that precious prize,
but looking through
unseeing eyes.


When sunbeams warm
the sleeping Earth,
and blackbird sings
for all he’s worth
to welcome Spring,
proclaim the birth
Of beauty, hope
and joy and mirth.


When gold adorns
bright shrub and tree,
and buttercups grow
wild and free,
spreading far
as eye can see….
that’s Alchemy enough
for me.


I’d love to know who wrote this poem.  I’ve had it for ages.

Go on – tell me which you think is best NATURE or GOLD! 

Then ask your friends the same question by sharing  this poem –

Prayer for a bird

Birds are so alive with bird song and movement.  I read this poem about the death of a bird and thought I would share it with you –

Prayer for the Burial of a Bird

This sparrow died today, O Lord,
Your feathered creature small.
We lay him in the friendly earth
And ask Your blessings on us all.

It made me remember clearly the day last year I found a dead sparrow near our garden gate.  I picked up this dead sparrow.  I was so amazed how light it was in my hand.  Ths feathers and bone together weighed hardly anything at all.  All the energy had gone from it (of course).

One reason I’m glad I started this bird diary is because it reminds me of what happened in the past.   There was nothing to show why this little sparrow had died.

We should treasure birds and enjoy seeing them full of live.  We shouldn’t take for granted their birdsong and their presence in or near our lives.

We should help them where we can.

Lets join together and feed the birds.


A Duck’s Prayer

Dear God,
give us a flood of water.
Let it rain tomorrow and always.
Give us plenty of little slugs
and other luscious things to eat.
Protect all folk who quack
and everyone who knows how to swim.


Isn’t that a funny little poem

We have had two ducks visiting the pond every year for ages.

They never seem to raise any ducklings but they are a welcome sight when they arrive.

I found this poem in a children’s book.

It is by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold (translated by Rumer Godden)

It reminds me of our two visiting ducks.