October Stroll

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A savage vision raped my morning stroll

A half-dead bedraggled magpie flapping

Spasmodically beside the sparkling path

Raw-headed, eyeless, even beakless


A shocked accountant held his trembling

Dog in its tartan body-warmer, uneasy

At the sight. The magpie flapped again,

More dead than living in that sty of time


I knew her well, an old mateless female

Bounding warm lawns in verdant sunshine

Her beady weather eye cocked for threats

Litter, fledglings and other opportunities


The bulbs of her skull gleamed grimly visible

As she strained her ruined head to the light

She could not see. This was for punishment,

Not killing or eating. Punishment for existing


Alone in a territory for two, a patch of park

Replete with bins, treetops and people,

A slice of magpie Lebensraum worth fighting,

Blinding, mutilating and torturing for


Twenty years they live, raising many broods.

Science has shown they can recognise faces

And remember them for years. Perhaps she

Blessed mine as my boot-heel descended.


◄ Washed Out to Sea

Murder in the Car Park ►


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John F Keane

Wed 20th Oct 2021 20:36

I guess they're just eaten.

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 14th Oct 2021 15:09

A harsh painful reminder of suffering in nature. It is one of the
wonders (to me) that there is so little evidence in general of the
passing of these creatures that share our immediate airspace in such profusion - yet seem so scarce in extremis to enable us to keep track of their mortality. Is there some avian Valhalla we
are not allowed to know?

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