Poem of the Month

On An Al-Jahran Ridge by Selwyn Morgan


To glide south, on winds that rise

above Al-Jahra Plain.

With summer lost to the Earth’s tilt chill and

Autumn’s hurry-up rain.

Each pass of time, a pendulum’s swing,

each beat a repeat of the eagle’s wing.


A Caravan trod north on the sand that clothe

the vast Al-Jahra Plain,

its summer lost to a man possessed,

and those who would avenge, again. For

each bird that passed, was a man-made thing,

each olive dropped came with a sting.


The travellers heard those silver birds

overhead Al-Jahra Plain,

whose screech announced that after all,

the day, for them, would end in pain.

Each flight of birds a godless whim,

each mission set with a devil’s grin.


Napalm fixed, scorched skulls smile white,

lodged in Al-Jahra Plain

(whilst feathered birds soar up, and up,

their critical height to gain).

Each bade a ‘God Bless!’, as a proffered caress, to

each bird’s transition at Africa’s behest… and yet…


In times gone by I’d stood there, in a culvert, gazing up,

as Steppe Eagles flew, their path ordained,

above the scrub of the Al-Jahra Plain.

A spiral flight on thermals  tight,

to vanish at great height, and I was

privileged to see that sight…  and yet…

each man-made bird, with a stoop so brief, turned

each fond memory into tableaus of grief… But still…


Birds glide south, on winds that rise

Above Al-Jahra Plain.

Their summer lost to the Earth’s tilt chill and Autumn’s hurry-up rain.