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Feather's Miscellany: Starlings

Thereís a message for humans who watch flocks of starlings wheeling and gathering at dusk on a winterís eve, as John Waddington-Featherís poem reveals.

Winter starlings speed across the sky,
gathering in number as the dusk draws near;
patterns of flight change, are lost,
then re-appear as by some arcane signal
they change their course.
They disappear a while behind the trees,
then suddenly whirl to sight their numbers
swollen to a black frenetic cloud
tearing through the air.
Again, again they come and go
as light diminishes; frantic, it seems,
to find a roost to rest, yet still scouring the sky,
when, like a bolt, they fall, scores of them
into the poplars, chatter and shriek a while
then fall dead silent right on cue.

And we like starlings wheel and start,
rise and fall through frenzied skies of life;
then silent sink to rest in gathering gloom
to await the dawn.

John Waddington-Feather ©

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