Birds Flying High


Bird flying high

You know how I feel


Ah, stuff it.

It’s a kite.


The bugger doesn’t have a clue 

how I feel.


It’s up there, cruising the joint,

looking for anything half dead

it can have for its tea.


If it’s looking down on me at all,

it’s wondering whether 

it can aim a shit right into my eye


As for Vaughn Williams,

that bloody lark takes

about 16 minutes to get

up there.


Have you seen a lark,

or heard one?


It takes a lot less time than that 

to get to its flappy place.


It can hang up there

for as long as it likes,


but ascending in 16 minutes?

Give me a break.


Then McCartney makes much

of a blackbird,

singing in the dead of night.


Well, only if it was sitting 

under a sodium streetlight 

and feeling very confused.


Morning, yes.  Evening, yes.

Night-time, pubs closing…

It ought to have been tucked up

somewhere else.




I’ve got one that lives near my veg garden.

It sings out sweet obscenities at me.


The game we play is this:

He sings a line

I sing back.


He sings a more complicated line

I sing back.


He goes full orchestral

I lose, he wins.


Bird song falls into two general genres:

My patch  fuck off,

or, fancy a shag?


Goodness only knows 

what the nightingale was singing

in Berkeley Square.



It’s taken us dumb humans

A long time to work out how birds fly.


Something to do with body weight, 

aerodynamics and thrust.


This was well explained in 

Chicken Run.

It’s all about thrust

…and not having clipped wings, you hens.


Icarus gave it a good go, 

though only his dad was watching.


Icky-boy hadn’t listened 

to advice about 

beeswaxed wings.


Nor the observation

about him

not being a bird.


The body weight to wing ratio thingy

must differentiate

the darters from the snatchers,

the hop-alongs from the cruisers.


The incentive is dinner.

All birds are stomachs

on wings.




Have you ever wondered 

where birds go to die?


Why aren’t we constantly

stepping over dead bluetits?


Or crunching our cars over

desiccated raptors?


Is there a trap door

at the peak of the Skirrid?

A bird Valhalla

into which they all must ascend?


I had a budgie once.

My mother sprayed the room

with fly spray and killed it.


Sad that.

© Gaynor Kavanagh