The Birds at Break Mill Farm

Moorhens: smallest, shyest,
tottering around on legs like
pipe cleaners. A child’s puppet.
A court jester on spindled stilts.
Curiosity weighs caution
as scattered morsels
lure them from the reeds
in which they hide.

Then come the ducks,
the common folk, dabbling
flat bills at crusts and crumbs.
Brown, speckled. Nothing
special. But among them, a
carnival troupe – green heads
plunging, fanning their
tails in the air.

Down descend seagulls
– swooping, screeching –
thrashing wings, chattering bills.
Thieves! you shout, waving your
arms. Marauders! Bandits!
But it’s useless. Only a shotgun
fired at their ranks will scare them
from their plunder.

Swans emerge in twos and
threes, taking to the water as if
to waltz. Lords and ladies – lake’s
nobility. Fashionably late.
Soundless as the willow boughs,
their necks a porcelain arch
as they bow their heads to
the water. A royal salute.

A heron watches all
from the far end of the pool.
Marble grey; a lone statue.
His beak like a sword – poised
ready to spear. No interest
in breadcrumbs, oats or corn
as he plucks a fish, and soars
away on mighty wings.

Elinor Cole Poet for June
Break Mill Farm


4 thoughts on “The Birds at Break Mill Farm

  1. Leaveners says:

    Kuli Kohli: Lovely poetry Elinor! I love the description and characteristics of the birds. Wonderful.


    • Elinor Cole says:

      Thank you so much! This is always how I imagined the birds as a child. Childish imagination knows no bounds!


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