A flock of fieldfares

Seek fleeting sanctuary

Convening in the bared copper beech

Eluding their icy Nordic scrub.

Thronging winter-thrushes

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.

Furious pandemonium

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