“Birds at the End of Summer” by Miki Byrne


Broad acres. Green, shimmering.
A nap of waves ruffled. Gusting winds huff.
Race in cold tumbles over open ground.
Grass raises moist silvered tips, patches clumped
in congealed wads—detritus from the last mowing.
Compacted like chewed cud, bleeding sap.
Mayflies hover, flip-flap in dark thousands.
Buzz like bees in a jar. Snatched from the air
by dipping swallows that swoop with eye-blinking speed.
Dives drop from cloud-shadow’s morphing camouflage.
Unending gyres twist the air, white bellies flash
against grey sky.
At ground-level a flock of starlings feed.
Rise in one great cloud. Settle like smoke solidified.
Roll in a great curl as those at the back feed
then flow to the front. Continuous motion,
smooth compaction of a thousand parts.
Suddenly they lift. Soar like handfuls of pepper grains
hurled skywards. To group, zoom, swoop.
Off to further feeding grounds.
Past the shadowed horizon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miki Byrne has written three poetry collections, had work included in over 160 poetry magazines and anthologies, and won a few poetry competitions. She has read on both radio and TV, judged poetry competitions, and was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Gloucestershire. Miki is disabled and lives near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK.