birds of night

by Lori R. Lopez

The birds of night flap broodful wings

Against the pewter clouded mist

Though sleep might claim most

At this hour of witchcraft and ghoul

Their leather-like flails evoke a restless

Energy for mischief, screeching and silent

Diving enmasse; swimming the air like fish

With bursts of upthrusts and echoing reports

In the quiet of Nocturnity; like swarms of bugs

Cluttering the sky against a lunatic pall

Keening in graceful plummets of precise formation

Their dense fraternity defined by echoes

They are swept aloft like a flight of starlings

And greeted with a similar disapproval

The same unpopularity of rodents

Rakishly adorable, these vermin of Twilight

Fit into the overall design, the fragile balance

That maintains the environs of a delicate planet

Like thread or glue, binding the seams

Holding the links together

Once in seemingly inexhaustible supply

Labeled pests, they have dwindled with wolves

And other species competing for space

Food and water, the right to exist, to survive

And roam free by land, sea, or sky.



~ First published in POETIC REFLECTIONS:  THE QUEEN OF HATS, 2014