dash
Birdsong


Early March a morning dog-walk
and a good one: weather perfect,
crocussed, snowdropped, bright with promise...
archetypal Spring.

Heading home on auto-pilot
when, from nowhere, I'm aware of
it an unfamiliar cadence
dancing at my ear.

I've no chance identifying
anything beyond the easy
stuff but this?  I'm sure I've never
heard its like before:

repetitive yet blithely tuneful
there it is again! that same brief,
jaunty, upward-swept glissando,
signed off with a trill.

Fifty yards to go and still it's
with me louder now, I'd swear, and
nearer: sweet, insistent, clear
above the trunk-road din.

What's brought this wonder here? this stranger,
skies apart from everything
its alien eye might comprehend?
Freak winds? ...or something worse?

That's it alright, poor thing: a refugee
and omen of catastrophe,
lost in a desperate search
for water / shelter / food...

evidence, if any such
were needed, that the planet's fucked
beyond all hope.  And we're to blame.
Repent.  The End Is Nigh.

At my gate, they overtake me:
headphoned, head-down, texting, teenage
parents with a third-hand pram,
one wheel in need of oil.

Ken Cumberlidge


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


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