That clump of trees just up ahead
is pulsing and boiling with birds,
thousands packed tightly together like smoke;
a chattering, chirping autumn turbine
gathering energy for departure.
You can sense the power building, peaking
as more and more arrive, bending branches
under the weight of their massed impatience.
At a silent signal made every year
on this very day and at this hour
they all launch upwards in a giant ball
that twists and turns as fast as thought, stealing
so much life and instinct from this landscape
that will somehow make it through their absence;
you can see the hope and promise of spring
and the distant solemn march of winter
trail behind like rival festival flags
during their annual flutter in the wind.
Published in The Roscommon Herald