And I begin my own steep climb into
The Chalkland Downs
Where none but stiff blast and
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
Scrupulously bearing witness
To mundane existence of shabby
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
Of a wearied and depleted mind;
Above, hurrying nonchalantly,
And, somewhat, dismissively by:-
The outlined caricature of
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
How easy words are to utter -
What an utter confoundment
When one tragically feels so
To irretrievably renege on all such
This bellowing furore that does,
At an instant,
Most strangely, inwardly roar
As if enraged like a muted,
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
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!
Helplessly trapped in an
Solitary, brown-coloured bottle of
For all of a damnable eternity!!
Copyright © john fleming | Year Posted 2017
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
Copyright © David Meade | Year Posted 2015
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
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
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
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
Out of the vast marsh
plaintive grey curlew calling -
my sister scolding me.
Copyright © Michael Newman | Year Posted 2014
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
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
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
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
Fashioned from toppled piles of lichen
Copyright © john fleming | Year Posted 2016
silver studded blue
Duke of Burgundy
goat willow too-
wild service tree
chalk hill blue
inspired by BBOWT WILD LIFE CHAMPIONS
Copyright © Brian Strand | Year Posted 2016
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
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
"Still round the corner
there may wait,
a new road or a secret gate."
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
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
The long billed curlew is frightened by something, he's ready to take flight.
Copyright © Andrew Crisci | Year Posted 2016
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
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
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
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