Conversation with a Shropshire Kestrel

A kestrel hovered over us
   On a road not trod before
Near the Long Mynd range in Shropshire
   Where folk fight the badger war.

To wait aloft on quiv’ring wings
   And see land laid out below
Would better what drones could do
   To measure out the human foe.

So, patient falcon, ride the wind -
   Hung motionless to our eyes -
Suspended as on gibbet ranged
   Simple prey an aimless prize.

Down on earth as evening lengthens
   Come night, hunters still are there.
Then man with unnatural sight
    Setts his aim with trap and snare.

If only you could use your sight
   In all enlarging detail,
And convey to the caring folk
   Patterns of their hunting trail;

With one voice, all true birds and beasts
   Much stronger than feeble man;
Together we are invincible
   This superhuman clan.

Your questing eye, the badger’s claw,
   Leopard’s tooth, the peregrine -
He might! at such victory.
   Let’s add shark’s jaw and orca fin.

Rid the world of pestilence
   Let natural order settle down.
And it would not take too long
   To overgrow the city’d town.

© R M Meyer
En route Devon, November 2019