Saturday, May 18, 2024

The One They Call The Devil Bird

April 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Poetry

In the middle of March, the excitement starts.

Each morning I wake, and listen for sounds,

Search through the window for new arrivals.

Every year the same impatience for migrants.

When will they come? The Swallows, the Martins.

And the one the Ancients called “Devil Bird”.

All coming from Africa to stay for a while.

The last to arrive, and the first to depart.

Long scythe shaped wings, black brown feathers,

With just a white chin patch, and a forked tail.

They may not be as handsome

As the Martins and Swallows,

Whom they outshine both in courage and panache

And are complete for life in the air.

The Magpies chatter in their old nest,

Always alert, and minding everyones business.

Leaning on my thumb stick, I watch nature’s ballet,

Listening to the Skylarks’ heavenly Orchestra,

The sounds and scenes of nature all around.

Then! Flying fast, chasing each other, screaming their laughter,

The ” Devil Birds” arrive to complete the act.

True name Swift – nick named ” Devil Bird”,

Always in the evening they play their game,

Chasing each other in joyous encounter.

Yelling! Screaming! In through doors, out through windows.

No wonder the ancients gave them that name.

Mating for life, sleeping, eating, always in flight,

They merge, and touch, making love as true lovers do.

Then in late evening they circle higher and higher,

Where out of Man’s sight, they sleep in flight,

Twinkling stars, echoing satellites their lullaby.

So much time in the air, their legs almost useless.

Unable to land for they cannot take off again,

Forced to nest high up on rafters and ledges,

Where they flop off, to launch into flight.

Then, In just a few weeks, their young now flying,

They take off, and leave for Africa once more,

At night I think, and dream of your courage!

As high over the Veldt you circle and sleep,

Undeterred by wild animals, or human wars.

You are unique! The perfect flying machine.

Swift – Swift in flight and name – Devil Bird, too.

The Common Swift is also know as The Devil Bird

The Swift A.K.A The Devil Bird.


One Response to “The One They Call The Devil Bird”
  1. Alice says:


    I stumbled across your website after looking for photos of Swifts (they are my favourite birds) and I just had to leave a comment.

    Your work is beautiful and I really enjoyed reading it. I also read your welcome page and think that having a website is a wonderful thing – no matter what age you are!

    I am sorry to read about your wife, she was a very beautiful woman and your family pictures are ever so sweet.

    Thank you for sharing your work.

    Warmest wishes,

    Alice xxx

    (ps. If you want an excellent recommendation for a Writer’s website, you should join The Word Cloud!!)