Looping round till it’s a blur
the falconer swings the weighted lure
beneath the bird, enticing her
to go into a stoop.
With hooking bill and crookéd claw
and plunging like a meteor
she swipes the fakery to the floor
with a vicious slap of feathers.
Around the crowd, a communal gasp.
The predator’s grappling in its clasp
the prize, but is the bird aghast
to find she’s made a dupe?
What blazes through that racing mind
when the hoodwinked raptor finds
the trainer took her for a ride?:
the lure is only leather.
Some may wonder why I watch.
Falconry? Hypocrite! Is it not
a bloodsport? What I hate so much?
The truth’s that I’m not sure.
I’ve circled round the world on quest
of biggest, smallest, weirdest, best.
I’ve twitched the North, South, East and West
all for a flash of feather.
I’ve followed falcons, hawks and eagles
bringing down prey with skill that’s lethal
but cannot say when puzzled people
ask “What is the lure?”
Birdlife’s my eternal quarry
but what do they do to fire my fury?
Their teasers wheel, fast and blurry.
Are they real or leather?
Sun 28th May 2023 08:54
Thanks Grace and Uilleam. Birdwatching has been a lifelong fascination for me, so using the falconer’s lure as a metaphor here.
Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh
Sun 28th May 2023 07:25
Thank you Tim.
Our town hall keeps the pigeons under control by encouraging peregrine falcons to nest in its heights.
At the same time, the authorities turn a blind eye to the illegal poisoning and trapping of them and of raptors such as the Hen Harrier, by grouse breeders / shooters.
Sat 27th May 2023 14:58
Anything whatsoever to do with birds and/or poetry Tim and I'm your Gal but as to the question posed in your last line, I'm as clued up as the next person. Thank you for this sir, but watch you don't get too dizzy doing the whirly teasing! 😁
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