Peregrine

This poem is based on a Peregrine Falcon that was observed to be copying the Sea-Eagles where it lived. The poem has subsequently been recorded by Virginia McKenna for podcast on the Born Free website. That podcast is now available on my own feed.

High above the fishing grounds
he wheels, turning slowly,
eyes focused on the sea far below.
Splash!
Splash!
Another and yet
another.
It’s a good day to hunt!
His wings start to beat,
he angles down picking up speed
with every beat,
the wings rake back:
the dive commences.
Faster
and faster
he plummets sea-wards,
the wind ruffling his plumage,
the air whistling in his ears.
Faster
and still
faster.
At maximum speed now,
the danger begins:
at more than two hundred miles an hour
even his keen vision blurs,
his head is fuzzy,
confused,
he shakes it,
yearning for clarity,
searching for focus.
Suddenly at one hundred feet
he stretches his wings,
arching them,
swinging his legs down,
the razor sharp talons out-stretched.
He hardly touches the water:
a glancing blow,
barely wetting his feathers,
the claws sink deep into the side of the fish;
the wings beat hard and he lifts,
clearing the still foaming surface,
he turns,
he swoops down to the beach
and lands.
The fish tastes divine
and as he sinks his sabre-like beak
into the soft flesh, he reflects:
Damn, I’m good at this!

 

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