Carefree the curlew, to my thinking
looking upwards from beneath
into a cloudwashed sky
replete with rain not falling.
And the circling and the diving
with curving beak
wings spread gliding
or beating up against the windless air,eyes scanning needle-sharp
to pin-point whatever food is there
inland from the richness,
of the salt-marsh estuary bed,
if only for an earthy feast
from rain-washed ground released.
And the strident crying
with unique, persistent,
triple-calling notes fast-dying,
addressed to nothing,
or perhaps a distant mate far-flying,
above the silver sweetness
of the blackbird’s jealous vying
and the mocking cuckoo newly fledged
and the cheeseless** yellowhammer,
silly on the hedge.
Carefree the curlew, to my unthinking
not driven by instinct’s insistence
unknown to my own fey existence,
not realising that this morning’s early breaking
of the night-starved fast
to daily feed the famished wide-mouthed gaping
is a task not lightly asked.
*An 'eagre' is a tidal river bore found especially on the Humber.
** Refers to the yellowhammer's call of "just-a-little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese".