Silent sentinels sitting on the apex of a pitched roof
In the half-light before the sun is up
Black-uniformed facing to the east,
Then shifting imperceptibly to the north,
Like the backward hands of a compass clock.
I wonder do they chat about the tortoishell cat skulking in the shrubbery
Seeking a stray mouse, an earthbound fledgling?
Or spot the sunflowers ease yellow fingers to full length,
Stretching supple necks, rousing sap for strength to raise their heads
to worship once again their fiery god?
Do they see the silent jet steaming high above,
white ribbons trailing, on its way to London, Paris or perhaps Peru,
Somnolent souls cocooned within
heading for holidays, making mercy missions,
or facing home for another year of post-recession recriminations?
Do they hear the pink dangling bells of sweet, fairy-filled fuchsia;
Gossip about Gretchen, our plaster goose, broad bill upraised to the trumpets of white mallow moving gently on the whisper of a morning breeze?
Do they revel in the reddening creeper?
Do their noses get the whiff of fading roses hanging limply?
Do they see me behind my window pane,
Watching them watching me,
Wondering at their ability to stand immobile,
While I sit restless, passing wakeful hours
poisoning an already over-loaded system with caffeine and tobacco?
No signal, but one hops atop a chimney cowl,
Ruffles feathers, pecks at some discomfort then resumes her place, facing her mate.
He stretches on his talon tips and sidles towards the west,
Eyes darting left and right, blinkered shutters
Clicking pictures of essential information.
Stretched wings and well-plumed tails,
As one they check their feathered under-carriages,
Then bounce down dull grey tiles inspecting moss,
Breakfasting on unsuspecting spiders and things
That nestle there, unaware they are the prey of predators.
Then with a nod and a wink, or the blink of an eye
They take to the air and glide to their next vantage point.
It’s time for me to put away my thoughts
And seek an hour of sleep before the day.