New Birds

On a fine Spring Sunday I walked the way
of a railway track that carries no trains.
I came upon a clearing, a forgotten field
with rabbits running over cropped grass.
Foxgloves, gorse, cheerful in the sunlight
a great beech tree, boughs bent to the ground.
I watched and saw many birds leave the branches
take to the air, fly from the tree.
Firecrest, goldcrest, bullfinch, chaffinch
in fours and fives. Such a show of joy.
Bird after bird lightening the heavens 
and never a one returned to the tree.
As I pondered upon it, a rabbit rushed out 
from among the fronds of bracken behind me.
Startled to see me, it scampered to safety
behind beech foliage and out of sight
while all of the others, free in the field
ran here and there in their random games.
I stood quite still, watched for a while
and though I saw many skip under the screen
never a rabbit returned to the day.
Wondering whether there might be a warren
around the roots of the ancient tree
I parted the branches, peered into shadows
where bright Spring sunshine fears to fare.

I swoop and soar high over the vale
circle the crown of a mighty beech
follow a line of derelict railway
winding its way between field and field.