Sunday, 24 September 2017

Rooks

Dear Reader,

 




                                                                                               Rooks


The rook is similar in size or slightly smaller than the carrion crow, with black feathers often showing a blue or bluish-purple sheen in bright sunlight.  The feathers in the head, neck and shoulders are particularly dense and silky.  The legs and feet are generally black and the bill grey-black.  For food the rook predominately eats earthworms and insect larvae which it finds by probing the ground with its strong bill. It also eats grain, small amounts of fruit, small mammals, acorns and small birds and their young.  In urban sites, human food scraps are taken from rubbish dumps and street, usually in the early hours when it is relatively quiet.  Rooks nest in flocks at the top of trees.  Branches and twigs are broken off, very rarely picked up from the ground, although as many are likely to be stolen from nearby nests as are collected from trees.   Eggs are usually 3-5 in number and appear by the end of February or early March and both adults feed the young.

                                                                              *
                                                                                  

Rooks

I was fourteen
when I first heard
the call of the rooks
caw-cawing
their eerie cries.

From a Cornish cottage garden
I walked down through
dark woods to the beach,
a remote place,
just dunes, sand, the sea
and me, a confused, angry teenager,
with the rooks caw-cawing in my ears
disturbing my thoughts.

Even now, in later years,
whenever I hear whispers from the wind,
or sea lapping over large grey stones
ever forward, ever backward,
glimpse a faraway horizon
and see twilight descending
darkening the sky,
the rooks in large black groups
flying high towards
their evening bed
cawing, cawing, cawing,
my heart misses a beat
and an unexplained sadness
overcomes me.

                                                                                    *

I am going to Dorset next week so shall be able to let you know how bothersome the seagulls are, and whether they attack me for my egg sandwich.

With best wishes, Patricia







2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful poem - you write like an angel !

Anonymous said...

So true - another wonderful poem. And yes, you do write like an angel. A strange feeling of hiraeth crept over me when I read this. X