In stubble cold, a bare white beak

Is flicking through the dregs of fall,

And if you’d call a flock alone

The winter picks the weak and old.


They fly: delineate the wind.

They march and mark the ancient lines.

They hack and chack at all that’s wrong,

And boundary off the coppice round.


When up one whirls it gathers more,

And eyes together scan and gleam

A single eye becomes the bird,

An eye as bright as night is black.


As one the copse of beech is filled.

As one the sky, the fields, the hills.


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