Skimming through my workbook, I discover that I've written several 'bird poems' over the years. My wife, Jane, however, is the more accomplished writer of 'avian' verse.
Writing under the name Jane Mosse,
her track record is impressive.
We once enjoyed a wonderful
trip together to Italy on the strength of it, when she was invited to
read one of her successful competition entries at a major festival at Lake Orta.
Birds have been the muse of numerous poets: Shelley, Keats, Tennyson and Blake: all penned immortal lines on the subject.
Edgar Allen Poe's Gothic poem, The Raven, is a perennial favourite, and writers as diverse as W B Yeats, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens and Ogden Nash have all published poems about birds.
It seems, then, that Jane and I are part of a very prestigious flock.
A hunchback crow, its plumage black,
sits, like a threat, in a bare tree.
I hurry past, avert my eye
from evil. Some things hardly change.
A childhood dread, perplexing, strange,
still numbs me. Old fears never die.
No harbinger, no grim banshee,
could raise such gooseflesh on my back.