Friday, 1 March 2013

Intruders and Thieves




A single bird is awake in a tree

there’s a rasp of crows

a hoot from an owl ...


Two stone owls at the back of the house

look sad in this half-light.

Their feathers are chipped.


Remember that day?  That country fair?

We came home with chutneys and jams

and a pair of owls, one each.


At first they stood by the step at the front.

You said they were guardians keeping us safe

from all intruders and thieves.


Now they are under the cherry tree

veiled in every tumbling blossom which drifts

at the end of spring.


Well I don’t care, they can stay there forever –

weathering, grubbier by the day –

since you’re not here


to wash the pigeon droppings off

or tease the grit from their grey-green plumes

with an old toothbrush.  



they failed  to keep intruders out

since you decided to let one in...


Was it in darkness when you did,

silently, like the wing-beats of an owl

and as stealthily?


Beautiful, the hooting owl:

sand and salt in a glow of beige, wings like canopies

of velvet, a long and pausing call  


but vicious, born to kill.

That’s its nature, I suppose, to ravage

and eat hearts.



‘Intruders and Thieves’ was highly commended in the TRYangle Project Poetry Competition 2012


No comments:

Post a Comment