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