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Best Curlew Poems | Poetry

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The Best Curlew Poems

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An Eternity II

And I begin my own steep climb into 
The Chalkland Downs                                                                     
Where none but stiff blast and 
Continous drone,              
Warbling chants from drifting curlew,
Muffled and alarmed bleats from 
Scattered flocks of confused and 
Wandering sheep -                                                         
Home to the ancient Guardians!                              
And still the blustering winds, 
Blowing hence Time-Immemorial,                                     
Eroding into disapproving frowns
Etched on every crumbling brow
And sharp escarpment of balding peak;                                                        
Here all meddlesome tribes of men 
Are held in equal contempt                                    
By these benign Spirits
Secured far above the bustling and 
Intrusive sounds;                                                                                                                   
Scrupulously bearing witness 
To mundane existence of shabby 
Lives -
Disorganised and unkempt!                               
Every day noise slowly detaching, 
Floating absently upwards -
Forever removed from the creeping 
Of pretty seaside towns.                                                                                           

Nothing but a void -                      
An inestimable void of invisible 
Whose serrated flight shuns the 
Chaotic hours of Humankind;                            
A great void whose voluminous 
Could quite easily inflate the 
Narrowing corridors 
Of a wearied and depleted mind;                                       
Above, hurrying nonchalantly,  
And, somewhat, dismissively by:-                   
The outlined caricature of
Silhouetted clouds                                                             
Weakly traced against the dreadful 
Of a vast grassland sky!                        
...And thus I find myself wondering,
What now of abandoned promises?
Pledges, once earnestly sworn,
Callously disowned and then thrown
Thee unpalatable stigma of this
Undeserving unworthiness!
How easy words are to utter -
What an utter confoundment 
When one tragically feels so
To irretrievably renege on all such 
Solemn vows!                                 

This bellowing furore that does,
At an instant, 
Most strangely, inwardly roar 
As if enraged like a muted, 
Pebble-tossing sea!                                         
Sudden squalling gusts, slamming 
Into the car,
Appearing, apparently, from out of 
To vigourously assault unto the 
Angry columns of towering air;                      
The tumultuous display of Heavens
Showering Firmaments...
Finally, at last - arraigned enmasse!            
...Then...a subdued wail that wails 
Amidst a wailing silence...                                    
Which, more and more,
Oh so ever disconcertingly...                                             
As if a lamentation for happier
Moments long since past...                                    
Would seem to emanate from within
The very depths me!                                                                                          alone...
Helplessly trapped in an                  
Infinitely immeasurable,
Solitary, brown-coloured bottle of 
Beer -
For all of a damnable eternity!!                

Copyright © john fleming | Year Posted 2017

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Egnehenots: Earth and Stone

Egnehenots – of earth and stone

Chief elder – most wise upon the Salisbury Plain
     an old man . . .  loved deeply
     revered father of the land
     wakes before the sunrise
     speaks with a clear wind voice
     it is time . . . retniw ecitslos 

The twelve bow  . . . form together
      three to a side
      lift Otsego – clear water running
      high in the air
      in liturgical movements 
      move across the dark plain
      whitlow grass . . . juniper shrubs . . . wild thyme . . . 
      sweeten the air
      moss laden stones
      soft upon leather-bound feet  

Within the wind
      haunting cries of the stone curlew
      crested newts scramble for cover
      the great bustard cuts the air with powerful wing beats

Ancient burial mounds appear
      a sacred circle of life emergences
      the procession stops . . .  lowers
      Egnehenots steps down, blesses the twelve
      enters the holy inner circle alone

Laying his head against the mighty sarsens
      begins to chant . . . 
      father of the blue stones
      creator of the big sky light 
      upon these rocks I cling for your life
      from sky, to earth let your love flow

On this holy day
      your strength is once again revealed
      wind and rain obey your commands
      days, nights, seasons march to your song 
      how great and mighty is your power

Hear our cries upon the wind
      absorb our tears upon the earth
      our breath upon your mighty rocks
      be now amongst your people
      send forth the sun and rain
      let the earth bring forth its riches
       so that we may dance in your radiance

The sun breaks the horizon
       Sending out shafts of lights 
       streaking across the sky
       clouds turning purple then into shades of reds, oranges 
       a single ray of light strikes forth
       straight as an arrow
       illuminating the altar stone
       connecting slaughter stone 
       and finally . . . the heel stone

Where, an old man clings

A loud cheer explodes from the village
Food and wind flow – a celebration

A new year begins - 
Rain clouds appear in the west

Egnehenots – of earth and stone

Love Generously 

David Meade

Copyright © David Meade | Year Posted 2015

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A cloudless day, should have been warm but the frigid southern roaring 40’s cut like flailing daggers into the skin, leaving bones and joints to succumb to the maddening icy grip of winter’s callous fists.  Even the Curlew, who, usually undaunted by such torrid tempest, seek shelter among the rocks and crevices that dot the sea, battered coastal fringe.
The boy was lost….
Melaleuca trees stand century, like gnarled soldiers gathered around the fallen, giving full acquiescence to the polar blasts that bend and twist them further still.  Their wispy fingers reaching down to engulf the child with grasping hands, beckoning further into their forest lair.  The only sounds that can be heard is the deafening roar of tree and wind as they battle in the canopies above.  
Panic fueled anxiety long ago gave way to terror, since replaced by resignation as night enclosed the restless child, who battles the lure of sleep against fear.  For in his mind he believes that in this foreboding place, creatures beyond the realm of humanity will visit unspeakable harm upon his being.  Their prying eyes ever present awaiting the moment he slips into unconscious sleep to exact their egregious deeds.
When dawn arrives the child awakes to the gentle touch of sunshine’s warmth.  Like God himself has stroked his face and chased the demons from his thoughts.  His weary eyelids flick open like snow pea slits as he adjusts his sunken, fretful eyes.  A smiling face before him bends and before realisation takes hold in his mind the words escape his cracked and tortured lips.  “Daddy”.

Copyright © old man emu | Year Posted 2016

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The Lament

Solomly the mist drifted aimlessly,
cloaking moor and heather, the 
curlew and grouse silenced by
the haunting of a solitary piper.
Kilt clad from rocky outcrop,
the lament Land Of My Youth
echoed ridge and valley.
Beckoning the lost footsteps, 
the gillie, the baker, the bankers 
son, the urchin that raided your 
orchard, once names, once faces, 
now empty spaces at the dinner 
And the tune reaches out beyond
the gorse and fern to strange lands,
names we failed in geography at 
school but now etched in heart
and epitaph.
The lofty peaks point skyward like 
prayers some unclimbed, some
unanswered. The grass will grow
where boys once ran, the laughter
now an aching memory.
The piper stills plays beckoning
souls not names, the stag raises 
its head and the eagle circles
this land of our youth. To duty 
or glory from boys to men, from
men to earth. The orchard will be
quiet tomorrow and the hills less
worthy. At the dinner table a
serviette to dry the tear and the
piper will fill the glen.

Copyright © Daniel Cheeseman | Year Posted 2011

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The Featherbeds

The feather beds are a string of mountains near where I live, famous for its raised bog lands, where my father and his brothers cut turf for many years. In spring / summer a wild cotton flower blooms giving the mountains their name.

In youths embrace I walked in mountains,
My father’s steps I tried to follow.
He led the way from town to wilderness
And there it was my soul he freed.
Windswept hills of raised bog and peregrine,
Swooped winds flared the will of the wisp.
Cotton top flowers waved their white clouds,
Beckoning me,  to loose myself in awe.
Slain and sod, man and muscle worked as one,
Bright Heather draped the hills a regal hue.
Bracken fronds greened the soil of spring.
Larks and curlew cries hung upon the air. 
As my father shushed us to silence and embrace,
His wonderland of peace.
At seasons turn and Bracken colours fade,
Gorse and heather flair their restful hues.
Sheep saunter through with heads bowed, 
They slowly leave the mountain once again.
The feather beds dim as clouds dip low and veil.
And silence flees before winter wind and rain 
In adults disgrace I left the mountains,
My father’s steps hard to follow.
Still longing to find the way of wilderness
To free my soul once again and be with him.

Copyright © Seosamh De Burca | Year Posted 2013

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Haiku Marsh

Out of the vast marsh
plaintive grey curlew calling -
my sister scolding me.

Copyright © Michael Newman | Year Posted 2014

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Recollections from the golden Cree I

I know of a river of more than average 
Meandering, when not dallying to maunder,
Between many differing contours 
And unruly contorts;
Where a privileged youth once
Happily sought -
Pursuing about his passions
In the traditional methods 
By which his better elders
Did most insist he was thereby taught.
Reinforced throughout with an almost
Religious zeal;
Enabled with spliced cane rod
Completed by ratchet-and-pawl type reel:
Whereon was wound the silken line;
About his slender frame hung
A wicker creel -
Contained therein beer and victuals
For a hearty meal!

Glad all the day long was he 
To present his barbed lure, 
Which, seldom, if ever, came to nought,
Within the purest sporting etiquettes,
That, loaded with conventional insistence,
Were so obligingly fraught;
And without transgression of strictest
Piscatorial code -
Perish the blinking thought!!
Thus, whereby to ensure, his wily quarry
Were gamefully hooked, played,
And lawfully caught.

June lit days skipped like lambs across
Her sheep cropped lawns;
Far distant out of sight Skylarks 
Singing trilly inside blue dusks and above
Thinning strands of wispy-pink dawns.
The whauping Curlew warbled when stalling
In drifting flight;
Burbling pied Oyster-Catchers,
Resplendent in orange gaiters, 
Piping vociferously along corridors 
Of shortest bat-flittering night...

And high up buffeted by the sharp
Breath of the bare escarpment,
Where soon the all-enveloping northern
Will cover like an old maids shawl,
The red beaked Chough and 
Double white striped Meadow pipit, 
Fluttering above hidden creases,
Pause to quickly fall...
Into folds of Vested garments:
Imperial purples and rich magentas
Thrown as if discarded upon an 
Emperors mosaic floor;
Lavish carpets of Royal claret
Rolled out across the deeply-brimming 
Horizons of the wine-red moor.

For how well I can still bring to mind 
That lingering warmth
Of temperate Octobers sprinkled haze;
Loitering aimlessly to slowly dissipate 
And idly laze
Beneath the smouldering hills...
Whose majestic heathers torched and
Set alight,
Now unrestrained, so fiercely blazed!
Soon the antlered sounds of pointed bone 
Will clash furiously together, here, on this 
The Rut's inflamed stage;
Whilst over it all -
Muted bellows,  resonating, as enraged 
Rags engage desperately in their deadly 

Following inside the rutted lane,
Busy with the grey flutter of the 
Wheatears wings,
Besides seasonal disrepair 
Often to be found many a fellow
Employed for a variety of thankless sins;
Who, in abject despair, found good reasons 
To ruefully atone...
When patching up the openings of
Inexplicable holes
Fashioned from toppled piles of lichen 
Spotted stone.

Copyright © john fleming | Year Posted 2016

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barn owl
             black hairstreak
silver studded blue
damsel fly
Marsh helleborine
Duke of Burgundy
                  goat willow too-
Porcelain fungus
purple emperor
                   quaking grass
bush cricket
Dowy emerald
                 wild service tree
                 chalk hill blue


Copyright © Brian Strand | Year Posted 2016

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This passionate, keen Ornithologist, 
Is an interest, I profoundly pursue. 
With the upmost of dedication, 
To Black Tern & Long Billed Curlew. 
Never a Twitcher, or just an obsession, 
Binoculars on hand to observe. 
Redstart & Greenfinch, also Reed Bunting, 
Come into focus on a birdlife reserve. 
Warblers & Wagtails, singing all day, 
Sounding so sweet in the garden. 
Robin & Chiffchaff scurry around, 
That’s my bug meal, if you pardon. 
Black Tailed Godwit & Purple Sandpiper, 
Great Skuas & Dunlin share low tide. 
Petrels & Fulmars, big Herring Seagull, 
All I can name from a secluded bird hide

Copyright © Kevin Shaw | Year Posted 2017

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Ranted I in fiery dance
Upon the rushed floor.
It plyeth mosaicate from out my thought.
Lucid it creels through battlement and prepapace.
Upon this tower, I cleveth Erin’s loved lorne lore.

It’s marshed earth with braided stench of wilded bush,
Where curlew lace no hatch,
I hear her shreak solitary now the gaunt of wealthed flax,
Each non cut rock a grey and weary fetus
From the kernel of my mind,
Barren spiral stair raped from all it wept; mankind
The ancient tenants dead; nay mummified.
Both munk and pastor
Phoenix merlined in the tempest of my dream.

Oh’ ape above fortalice cloketh brotherhood,
Who staple me on hazelnut and dace
God’s wild innocence of grace;
Who flung spring leaf infant to the boundary of the air,
Still gurgler plyeth his silketh threads;
Then taunts its ebonite onto a higher throne.

The chalice battle-beaten
Scurried through the airs of earth,
From within the conifers, the silverberches;
Now lies within the hidden wood.
Upon the grave where sages cried.
The headstone dead, with silver trail
That maws about its chiselled bed

Aged marrow coils the new formed yews.
He marched a drought and bat the tin boot torture from his shins
Now he sits outside the farriers and waits, and contemplates;
Soaring rainbow, fin-whipped structure of the gleam
Nose that cut the film sifted fly with hoover suction.
Hour glass smashed, finger cut,
Blinded look of gleaming leaf devoid its former smuts,
From page and gilded edge.

Farrio -onis ferratus
White elk herded peppered witches from the glare,
Still farrier wields his marriage bore,
It calls to all insundry

Copyright © savlen dempsley | Year Posted 2005

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A February Day

On a cold and frosty morning I gazed across fair fields, woods and copses,
I heard a wood-lark sing a sweet song, so sweet, hairs on my neck raised,
Did I hear it earlier in the month, I thought my ears were playing tricks,
Standing in my back garden a thrush joined in with his song, a magical day.

Peering around there were tomtits hanging on the eaves of the thatched barn,
Rooks began to revisit their special trees and arrange their future nests,
A harsh loud voice, the missel-thrush rang from hedges and boughs of trees,
The missel-thrush became quiet, the hedge sparrow renewed its chirping note.

Turkey-cocks now strut their stuff they gobble and partridges begin to pair,
House-pigeons have had their young and field, crickets open their old holes,
Gnats begin to play about the insects, swarm, under weak watery sun hedges,
The stone-curlew clamors and by ponds, in wet water mead's the frogs croak.

Ravens lay their eggs and in a far off wood a green woodpecker sings loudly,
An elder treed discloses its flower buds and the catkins of the hazel grow,
Young leaves are budding on the gooseberries and currants begin to take shape,
And late February is a time where life is regenerated for another four seasons.

Winter in spite of occasional frost and frowns is now leaving for pastures new,
The voice of the turtle and the singing-bird is heard once more in our lands,
Frost and icicles hanging from high old oak trees begin to drip on hard ground,
A fox can be seen way off in a fallow field looking for nest-eggs for breakfast.

Copyright © Terry Trainor | Year Posted 2013

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D’weep "Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate." J.R.R. Tolkien Around the corner and up the creek Lies in wait the horrible D’weep, Watch out old man the hunger gnaws, Will rip you from your horse an more, Till you go to deathly sleep, Perhaps perchance, you will sidestep round, And dodge the fate of other clowns, For just across the yonder hill, Bloodsucker waits to have his fill, sucked down like nice coleslaw, hobbits haven’t never hid, neath the sod of this godless crib, Haddok fought an finally slew, The mighty awful D’weep curlew, Gone now the awful blight. Tracie ~*~ Indigo Dreamweaver Contest Name In a land called fantasy..3rd.

Copyright © DON JOHNSON | Year Posted 2011

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Le Courlis poussa des cris -Translation of Oodgeroo Noonuccal's The Curlew Cried by T Wignesan

Le courlis poussa des cris – Translation of Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s « The Curlew Cried » by T. Wignesan

(Note d’Oodgeroo : Le courlis fut le frère d’aborigènes. Il venait trois nuits de suite pour pousser des cris près d’un campement afin d’annoncer la mort d’un entre eux. Ils croyaient que le courlis venait pour conduire les ombres des morts vers le monde Inconnu.)

Durant trois nuits on entendait le cri du courlis,
L’ancien avertissement tous savaient interpréter :
Le cri leurs rappelle quelqu’un va mourir cette nuit.

Tant frère qu’ami, il entre et sort
En dehors de la Terre des Ombres
La voix la plus insolite sur terre.

Il a en sa charge le bien-être de ceux
Dont chaque âme qu’il conduit à sa destination –
A quel monde mystérieux, à quel étrange Inconnu ?

Qui donc devait nous quitter cette nuit :
Le vieux aveugle ? L’enfant handicapé ?
Tout le campement sera au courant demain.

Le défunt malchanceux ne sera pas si effrayé,
Le frère de la tribu lui tiendra compagnie
Quand le voyage non voulu devrait être entamé.

‘Tiens bon, la mort ne pas une fin en soi-même,’
Il semblait dire. ’Bien que tu dois pleurer,
La Mort est bienveillante puisqu’elle est ton ami.’

Durant trois nuits le courlis poussa des cris. Une fois de plus
Il vient pour accompagner les morts timides –
Quelle macabre changement, quelle épouvantable rive ?

c) T. Wignesan – Paris,  2016 

Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2016

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Oooh so true

Afterlife, how the universe seamlessly ultimately absorbs and entwines me into you
that's Divine truth, plain and true.
Joy and peace await when 'life' is through
and all's unstuck from Being's glue
everything's eternal lasting whilst forever anew
with shades of whites and hues of blues
with fades of life, the new realm you go to
now seeing all, an unrivalled view
that teasing puzzle and the cryptic clue
a bird that swam and also flew
maybe a swan or perhaps the curlew?
Harsh winters crisp frost and hopefull springs moist dew
rainlike your body drops, as your soul freely flew
like the wind, when your last trumpet call was blew
Fear not, as everything embraces you!

Copyright © John-Ovan.P. Hull | Year Posted 2012

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The Not So Original Monoku Challenge

The long billed curlew is frightened by something, he's ready to take flight.

Copyright © Andrew Crisci | Year Posted 2016

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The narcissist

The narcissist

I’m a bush stone-curlew,
And this is my fond view—
That there’s none else like you
In whole world, all space blue.
And if one exists, this
His own reflection is.
In love with feathers my own,
I love my skin that hides bare bone.
A bush stone curlew, a bird, spent hours staring at its own reflection as per a video captioned, The Narcissist’ that became instantly viral. The bird became instant star as well. Now, if this bird had some poetic bent of mind, it might have penned this little ditty. 
      Happenings, humour | 24.03.2017 |

Copyright © Aniruddha Pathak | Year Posted 2017

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life without love was how nature planned it instinct was the way instinct was the way was how nature planned it life without love symbiosis when two become partners instinctive for one instinctive for one when two become partners symbiosis the mighty oak tree supports many life forms inadvertently inadvertently supports many life forms the mighty oak tree winds... mass destructors for some life dependant pollinating breeze pollinating breeze for some life dependant winds... mass destructors the early bird dies fickle spring... substrate frozen instinct to migrate instinct to migrate fickle spring... substrate frozen the early bird dies who gave life knowledge nature... okay... who taught it self-preservation self-preservation nature... okay... who taught it who gave life knowledge who gave life knowledge nature... okay... who taught it an open question an open question nature... okay... who taught it who gave life knowledge black and blue hate or an accident on reflection on reflection hate or an accident black and blue life's poetry look out of your window no cities bare no cities bare look out of your window life's poetry the babbling brook it's banks alive with beauty rocks giving shelter rocks giving shelter it's banks alive with beauty the babbling brook oceans swell... seeking waves rushing to distant shores raving... ripples blush raving... ripples blush waves rushing to distant shores oceans swell... seeking their probing beaks waders on the low tide flats mud their larder mud their larder waders on the low tide flats their probing beaks the curlew calling otters on a lake's shoreline the moors... life thriving the moors... life thriving otters on a lake's shoreline the curlew calling my muse she leads my hand to paper it scribes for nature it scribes for nature she leads my hand to paper my muse sand blasting pebbles waves eroding shorelines fossils exposed fossils exposed waves eroding shorelines sand blasting pebbles

Copyright © Mick Talbot | Year Posted 2018

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As if to remind me

As if 
To remind me 
Of past sorrows, 
The plaintive cry of a curlew 
In the distance. 

       W.A. CHOLT . COPYRIGHT  Fergal O Reilly. 2017.

Copyright © W.A. CHOLT | Year Posted 2017