Strictly for the Birds

Geese in formation, flying nation to nation,
Across desert and crater, global navigator.
In thrall to nature’s mysterious laws, following intercontinental corridors.
Marking sun in the daytime and stars in the night, internal, intricate map of the flight,
Strangely attuned to the magnetic field, preternatural powers these voyagers wield.

I am in awe of such aerial magicians, with their mind-boggling talent for mapping positions,
A superior global positioning system, crossing cities and seas, but blink and you missed ‘em.
Harriers cross barriers, and the elegant crane, flies with its fellows in an optimum lane.

And us humans?
“Gotta fly” I say, metaphorically speaking, but do I ever spy the damage I’m wreaking?
Urban commuter, planet polluter, Lorry and 4×4, taxi and scooter.
Urbanite lifestyle, in some ways fantastic – but what of my ways with the perils of plastic?
What I throw away, can I start to connect, with the bird (seems absurd) who may wish to inspect?
That piece of detritus I throw over my back, could be taken, mistaken for a colourful snack.
What I blithely acquire as container or filler – is potentially a sinister avian killer.

I buy what I want and I do as I please, with no thought what I bought could end up in the seas,
So instead let me see it as pleasure and duty, to survey the array of wild avian beauty,
Serve and preserve and rise up to defend, from the least to the greatest, each fleet feathered friend.

For World Migratory Bird Day 11-5-19, for BBC local radio

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