Drakes are raping ducks, again,
Skimming over water like stones,
To chase and grab their women
Roughly in the neck,
Pushing them under
And going in.
Ways of the world
In early spring.
Oystercatchers stand around
In small, all-male groups,
Shouting hard at the ground.
Why do they do that?
The stork, always far away,
High in its crow's nest
Is waiting, or not,
Often there are two.
A large, white and cleanly goose,
One of an expressionless gaggle of seven
That have colonized the bridge,
(And whom I faithfully greet every morning:
"Hey Boys, everything alright?",
As I cycle past in my cool black gear;
They consistently ignore me)
Has found a risky place to brood.
She does not know young boys.
Up in the air, jetplane birds fly roughly due north;
The magpie and the jackdaw and the crow
Are fading, losing ground,
No longer masters
Over the thick-black-silent-winter-world
Of muffled screeches.
Bright green parrots have joined them
And feast incessantly:
They care not what they do.
And the heavy, heavy cormorants
Fly their arduous, Mesozoic flight,
Bathe half-submerged then
Dry, displayed, spreadeagled
Making some point, God knows what.
Soon the grebe
Will carry her young
And be a small island
A tit scrapes her throat
The blackbird that lost an eye
To our lovely cat
Sits proudly on the gutter
At the corner of the house
Playing it's only rock and roll record,
Over and over and over.
What have they ever done for us?
Only the heron seems oblivious.
There's no secret there, just purpose.
Will be run over later this year
Because their mother will want to get to the other side
What is it about ducks?
A week later, as I cycle past my goose
I see another cyclist stopping
He is feeding her, with brown bread
Which she eats happily
I see a duck smeared across the road
And a fake bird adorning a miserable garden
Covered in the dirt of winter