March 3 Magpie

The magpies are bickering over the grey bones of another fading sunrise, their black tails cocked in affront to whomever dare to share their pied feast.

I feel I am an intruder just observing.

‘He’s here again’

Two birds peck while one stands guard, his cocked eye ready to pierce me if I dare

They are so patient… relentless

‘He’ll leave’

A third joins to help unpick the shadows

‘He always does’


There are plump red berries on the cotoneaster outside my window. The long tailed tits sometimes squabble over them as if they have found them anew. I know they are there, I am familiar with their shape.

Lately, the morning presents them grey. They too, could easily disappear beneath the spread wings of the black and white jesters.

The watcher, hops closer

‘Piss off’ he caws. ‘Go back where you came from’

‘There is nothing for you, here’

I turn away, back to work, back to another day.

Everything that is critical to me; the words on the page,
the scratches from my pen, the solitude I need … it too

all is grey.

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