Sussex in May is about as green and pleasant a land as you could hope to find. I love it with a passion, but even I’m forced to concede it’s a bit lacking in drama. It’s hedgy, rather than edgy. So I’m always delighted to see buzzards, the largest birds of prey hereabouts, which have recently returned from the edge of extinction to haunt our skies once again. They’re little splinters of the long-lost Wildwood; a reminder that even in our tame countryside, there are still the hunters and the hunted. This little ottava rima goes out to them all.
BLUE SKY THINKING
Time was you’d never see them here. Today
I watched a pair dispute a square of sky
Like fighter aces: circling wide, at bay
Then closing, locking talons, spinning high
Like lost umbrellas, neither giving way
Till one broke with a lonely, keening cry.
An echo of the wild that made me yearn
For more than just the buzzards to return.