A Murmuration

Reads: 199  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

A Murmuration



The murmuration of gloss’d starlings sweep in from southern foothills,


defy a western wind, watch downward gleefully


as turkey vultures hunch over their defeated prey, the king.



From the north runs a skulk of red fox, fathers, daughters and sons,


toward the bloody field.


Through dry leaves and sycamore balls and twigs

left by the scattered sparrows.



Men sought the king in greying winter, followed his kin, sent doe across


the cold and rocky ridge.


Men never found him, the clever old king,


one who had watched his brothers, his sisters catch the bullet,


one who saw flashes of light jump away from their eyes toward the low sky.


‘Tis not cleverness nor wit nor skill that keeps me alive, the king told the forest,


true, a certain wisdom brews with age, and senses stew in a fine mist,


but ‘tis only fortune


raw fortune


that takes one and dispatches the other.


If we are mark'd to die, we are enough,” the bard had quoted Henry. And the


felled king on the valley field breathed in the words


as his tired hooves bent into frosted forage.



The ravens wait atop the pines.  The red-tailed hawk rides biting thermals


to clouds


only to dive in circles


toward the widening stain below. 


Lines of attack form from those


bred only to fight.  The beaks, the claws, the keen-sighted battalions





The fox knew the king when he ran in youth with them along the wooded floor.


The starlings and ravens watched the king as he grew


into an image, an issue, of his own.



In January, the light stretches across a red ridge toward the monastery.


In January, red birds and black birds and fox and pasture grass


touch the teasing air.


In January, brothers die and sisters fall in cold embrace.



Winter sits still among the dying.


Spring will bury the blood.











Submitted: August 15, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Marjorie Gowdy. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Criss Sole

Great imagery and metaphors.

Wed, August 19th, 2020 3:30pm

Facebook Comments

More Religion and Spirituality Poems

Other Content by Marjorie Gowdy

Poem / Religion and Spirituality