Life and Death

A few weeks back I wrote a short poem about the pigeons nesting in my cherry tree (Late Brood). They are still there. The leaves have not yet turned autumnal although some have fallen and the tree is thinning out.

A few days ago I found a dead chick, just beginning to show signs of fledging, on the ground underneath the nest site. The mother pigeon was still sitting so I assumed there was at least one and possible more up there though I heard no sign and saw no sight of them. Still she sat, a good mother if not a good nest builder!

Over the last few days we have noticed some movement in the nest, which I can see from my kitchen window. I got out the binoculars to have a better look but the view was blocked by the parent bird. Today, however, I saw her feeding a quite substantially sized chick, looking reasonably well fledged and almost ready to go, big enough that Mum was confined to the edge of the nest.

Now the question is did the dead chick on the ground simply fall to its death? The nest is flimsy and not very protective after all. Alternatively did it die in the nest of ‘natural’ causes and was ejected, or was it pushed out by its bigger sibling?

I guess I’ll never know and I’m still left wondering if the surviving chick will grow on well enough to make it through the winter. Nature can be so cruel.


Late Brood

A pair of wood pigeons
have built their flimsy nest,
for a late brood,
in a crook of the cherry tree.

Do they not know
that soon the leaves will fall,
strong winds will blow?

And then they’ll see
it doesn’t pay to build
a flimsy nest so late
in a crook of the cherry tree.

Bike Ride

There’s a nest in that tree,
a bumble-bee flies past my ear,
a rabbit hurries into the hedge,
a fly hits me on the cheek,
a train goes by, another cyclist
says ‘Hi’ going the other way.
Then a cat in the road glares at me,
slowly turns and walk to safety.
The sky is clear and blue, with wispy clouds.
I can hear the bird-song all around.
It is difficult to bow to a white horse
while riding a bike.


Buds appearing on the trees.
Sparrow with a beak full
of soft downy feathers
to line his nest.

Moss 2

A gloomy day of greys and greens.
Mrs. Blackbird gathers moss
to line her nest.


Pigeons nest in the shrubbery —
a late brood.

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