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  • Writer's pictureTony Frobisher

The Corvids and the Passerines

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

The Corvids and the Passerines Smoke lingers over Flandrian fields, Where the last vestige Of humanity was lain to waste. And as the grey light creeps, A fortunate few stir to Welcome the dawn, Welcome the dawn. The corvids gather. Clarion called and shattered Branch perched, observing The death fields below and Beyond, carrion calls. The agony of man. The last cries, The last cries. Oh lucky few! Carried Away on muddied tracks, Stacked in a horse drawn handcart. The blurring of presence. The here, the final moments. The last gasp of foreign air. And then the passing, And then the passing. Afforded the dignity And silent reverence Of freshly dug graves. Shoulder to shoulder with Comrades in momentary arms. And permanent death. The passerines lament, The passerines lament. While back in the battle black Quagmire that sucked Life from youthful zest, A cry - Carry on Corporal! Recover the wounded, But leave the dead; They have time to wait, They have time to wait. Now hear the corvids crow And cackle, and wait the Retreat of the foolish men Who fought over a patch of earth. And fell to lie, torn and still. Hear the corvids caw, There is war! There is war! The corvids have no shame. No disgrace, they will pick At the follied flesh of man. Is this what man has become? While the morning birds remain Song-less and mute, watching The corvid's carrion, The corvid's carrion. How long until the blackbird Robin, finch and thrush Join in passerine dawns? A celebration of a new day, Born of joy and hope. How long until The passerines sing again? The passerines sing again? Perhaps when the corvids Have picked the fields clean And no trace of man remains And the poppies have coloured The fields a remembrance red - Then the dawn chorus may resume, but for Now there is no birdsong. Now there is no birdsong. Yet, corvids are passerines too And the clever crow, magpie and raven; Ah they too sing, as the robin And song thrush enjoin their Fellow passerines at break of day To sing in tribute, but The corvids sing a different song. The corvids sing a different song. A clarion, Carrion call.

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