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Conversation with a Shropshire Kestrel

A kestrel hovered over us

   On a road not trod before

Near the Long Mynd range in Shropshire

   Where folk fight the badger war.

To wait aloft on quiv’ring wings

   And see land laid out below

Would better what drones could do

   To measure out the human foe.

So, patient falcon, ride the wind -

   Hung motionless to our eyes -

Suspended as on gibbet ranged

   Simple prey an aimless prize.

Down on earth as evening lengthens

   Come night, hunters still are there.

Then man with unnatural sight

    Setts his aim with trap and snare.

If only you could use your sight

   In all enlarging detail,

And convey to the caring folk

   Patterns of their hunting trail;

With one voice, all true birds and beasts

   Much stronger than feeble man;

Together we are invincible

   This superhuman clan.

Your questing eye, the badger’s claw,

   Leopard’s tooth, the peregrine -

He might! at such victory.

   Let’s add shark’s jaw and orca fin.

Rid the world of pestilence

   Let natural order settle down.

And it would not take too long

   To overgrow the city’d town.

© R M Meyer

En route Devon, November 2019