Poem 4: Starlings

Today's poem is inspired by a morning spent watching the birds in my tiny garden in order to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. The birds truly came through for me this morning and I even recorded 3 species that have never landed in my garden before! The poem I have chosen is nice and light-hearted and concerns one of my favourite garden visitors. I remember marvelling at their fantastic "whisp of cloud" roosting displays and their perfect mimicry of the telephone ring. Apparently Mozart kept one as a pet and was so impressed by its ability to mimic his own compositions that at the end of its life he gave it a burial and read a poem he had composed to its memory.
Starlings are struggling in many areas of the UK now due to habitat destruction, but this morning I had a grand total of 8 in my garden, so here's hoping for a comeback for the humble starling.

By Pam Ayres

We're starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We don't go round hopin', we walks.
We don't go in for this singing all day,
And twittering about, we just squawks.

We don't go in for these fashionable clothes,
Like old Missel Thrush, and his spots,
Me breast isn't red, there's no crest on me head,
We've got sort of, hardwearing...dots.

We starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We'll eat anything that's about,
Well anything but that old half coconut,
I can't hold it still. I falls out.

What we'd rather do, is wait here for you,
To put out some bread for the tits,
And then when we're certain, you're there by the curtain,
We flocks down and tears it to bits.

But we starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We reckon that we're being got at,
You think for two minutes, them finches and linnets,
You never sees THEM being shot at.

So the next time you comes out to sprinkle the crumbs out,
And there's starlings there, making a noise,
Don't you be so quick to heave half a brick,
It's the misses, meself and the boys!


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