Bird of delight

Screaming joy and soaring on the updrift

Predicting sun and spring and clement weather

Building nests of clay and filling them with yellow beaks

Open for insects and feed.

Fast as lightning the black wings arch through warm air

Its tail flickers and the world changes.

What aspirations needs a bird?

Elegant in black and white

It’s only goal is the next meal,

The next flight.

Sky-high ecstasy

Has simple expressions


Bird of sorrow.

High in the evening sky

The black birds circle,

Crying out their grief.

And the watcher,

The listener


Is this an omen of pain?

It may just be darkness coming.

But, more than that,

At the source is a manifestation

Collective and dire:

A premonition

Of loss



© HMH, 2018









2 responses to “Swift”

  1. Millie Thom avatar

    Lovely imagery and interesting contrasts between the two poems. I must confess, swifts (and swallows) will always be a part of my visions of summer – more in keeping with the first poem. I could never see them as birds of sorrow or grief. I can see how some could see them as such, though. ?

  2. Hanne H avatar
    Hanne H

    The idea came from a time when I spent a couple of months in Aix-en-Provence. Every evening the swallows would convene in the sky screaming and circulating together. They’d slowly descend until it was nearly dark.
    Normally, I also see these birds as presagers of summer. . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.