murmuration of starlings
Winter skies' low wattage is compounded
by black newscast: refugees, economy, terrorism.
Aunty Beeb attempts to cheer with item on starling murmuration,
natureís free show in this post-Christmas reckoning.
In Brighton, starlings are pearly king and queen day trippers,
who stayed on and ancestrally roost amongst pierís rusty legs.
In the Lake District they perform epic aerial displays amid Romantic
lakes and mountains, stamping ground of awe and sublime junkies.
My own, spotted from car caught in first stirrings of rush hour,
peek-a-boo above buildings and hoardings; I drive and peer
reckless as texting at wheel. Eventually pull onto garage forecourt
where, in gap between pizza place and sales room,
I gain unrestricted view as they shape-shift like Northern Lights
but with twittering, whirring soundtrack;
20 minutes, then as darkness begins to cataract creep,
the spectacle strategically shifts over their roost,
working outside in, ranks of birds peel off, plummet into trees,
the reduced formation still displaying until the final section
drops into row of evergreens squeezed between industrial units.
As their chatter cold ends, silence. The ear retunes to Cityís racket.
BBC briefly turns teacher, asks talking heads for the science
behind the phenomenon but experts shrug We donít know.
I smile, You go girl, as nature in this Higgs Boson world,
still manages to remain tight lipped about some things.

Fiona Sinclair

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Fiona Sinclair  would be pleased to hear them.