Nov 22, 2016

One for sorrow, two for joy...

A magpie

Very high wind again - a nor’wester this time, howling on into the night. The magpies (plentiful as tabby cats, in point of fact, too many) seem undeterred by any amount of wind. They take to the air in the gale, balancing with the help of their long tails, which they can partly open, and raise or lower almost to a right angle. I don’t care for them - raffish, predatory creatures; ‘can’t sing either.

I turn to my old friend John Clare, that great poet, for a bit of a lift:


I love the fitfull gusts that shakes
 The casement all the day
And from the mossy elm tree takes
 The faded leaf away
Twirling it by the window-pane
With thousand others down the lane

I love to see the shaking twig
 Dance till the shut of eve
The sparrow on the cottage rig
 Whose chirp would make believe
That spring was just now flirting by
In summers lap with flowers to lie

I love to see the cottage smoke
 Curl upwards through the naked trees
The pigeons nestled round the coat
 On dull November days like these
The cock upon the dung-hill crowing
The mill sails on the heath agoing

The feather from the ravens breast
 Falls on the stubble lea
The acorns near the old crows nest
 Fall pattering down the tree
The grunting pigs that wait for all
Scramble and hurry where they fall.