A flock of fieldfares
Seek fleeting sanctuary
Convening in the bared copper beech
Eluding their icy Nordic scrub.
Fused and transitory.
Gathered like odd upright nuts.
Slick backs of deep-chestnut brown
Glimmering in the half-light.
A warlike calling, “schack-schack-schack”
Slices the frigid air at dusk
With eccentric pitches and puzzling patterns.
Unfathomable babble and chatter
Emanating covert secrets
Known unto this passing pack alone.
Late litanies recount the day’s events,
Migratory myths and homeland reverie.
Service to their quirky order.
Until silenced utterly by darkness.
An eerie exotic mutation
Whose temporary inundation
Carries a fierce alien energy
Disturbing high-strung natives
Who only vaguely remember past assembly.
Weird utterances, and queer habits.
Spooked by these strange sparkling deviants
Wood-pigeons blunder in panic,
Crashing through boughs.
Only the ever-bright jackdaws,
Foresaw and fled.
Magpies and collard-doves
Abandon the beech,
Now the redoubt of this new horde.
Only a silent jay is stoically unbending.
Unsparingly this mob have gorged on leftovers
Not to the taste of the local breeds,
Leaving a wintry barren aspect with
All fiery shades eaten out of eyeshot.
Deep-ruby pyrocantha berries stripped,
Hollies holding no hint of reddish-yellow
Their ripe fruit raided.
A crab-apple tree stands strangely stark
Its bitter offering all devoured.
Now, a cold-front and biting easterlies
Pinch this refugee gang
Ever-further south on their
Longitudinal magnetic arcs,
Lured by fresher Iberian bounty.
Prior ports of old comfort
And asylums unknown to them.
So, tomorrow they move on.
© lawrence reed 2022