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.