Red kites

A couple of very good friends yesterday went to see the feeding of the red kites on the Black Isle. We often see these great birds hovering over the roadways near Inverness. They're looking for carrion. Some would say roadkill. Not a good word. Not a good meaning. Anyway this is for them, our friends Jackie and Jim.
Along the wind

Fork-tails young and old
fly in from every direction
using fine the scuttling wind
that scythes and sighs its way
through bare-boned winter trees
‘cross Black Isle hills and fields
pregnant invisibly, yet green
with newly stirring life,
and a dual carriageway verge
sheltering furry twitch-nose
trembling, timorous beasties,
that always need the other side:
the lovely red kite’s prey
not now, some other day.

They come more easily to feed
courtesy of the much feared race
that not so many years ago 
would drive them from the earth.
All forgotten and forgiven
in these more lightened times
when perfectly they gather
here, together aerobatic whirl
and loop, and swoop to scoop
what is today on offer then
wing flutter up, together twirl
air dancing like some bagpipe skirl
and thus bring some strange peace
to we who wait on summer’s lease. 

Bryan Islip
Fabruary 2011

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