Poem of the Month: July 2011

Witness to the execution

Dead Blackbird

The seagull sits on the garage roof
And plays with the black glove,
Which has a life of its own
Flopping in different directions
As the seagull tugs at it.
Something snaps and it falls slack and loose
Like a puppet with its strings cut
To reveal a blackbird,
Whose neck has just been broken.

I watch in horror as the gull,
Yellow eye like an oily fried egg,
Tries in vain to eat his victim whole,
Sits back and makes great swallowing motions,
But it literally sticks in his craw,
That eye bulges
And he spits it out again.
And then with great lunges of his yellow beak
He drills
into the smaller bird’s heart and lights,
Drawing out its guts like bloody bunting.

The emptied bird freed from
The pummeling of his torturer,
Lies like a discarded skein of black wool,
while the gull walks up and down the felted roof,
with the overweening vulgarity of an oil-state dictator.
Stunned by the violence, I sit shocked for a moment,
But it is as least over for the smaller bird.
I fear for the others in the garden
But they, caught up in an immediate world,
Do not still their song..

© James Nash 2011

Photo: by Arnoooo on Flickr