Dictionary of Birds
(Any Order)


In my old age I find this pugnacious
lovely-red gamecock smartly attractive.
When I dig my garden he darts
perkily roundeyed to my boot's edge
hopping & bobbing. . .

This morning in fact he popped through the window
& perched close to my head.
Stealthily I spread
some cakecrumbs at the far end of the ledge.

Looking & pecking
nodding & nodding
he thoughtfully acknowledged me.


Stupidly when young I searched the hedgerows
( satchel on back & rifle in hand )
for the smartest birds I could find.

He was perched on a twig
singing & throbbing. . .
Very soon he lay splayed in a ditch
- a xmas-red balloon
emptily staring. . .


We all know that our friend can fight like a bull territory proud... He's a beautiful but ignorant bird - evidently often unable to distinguish a friend from an enemy.

On this occasion (dimly in the past, thank goodness! ) he failed, poor devil, utterly!