I know all about the miracles
bred into their peanut hearts,
the hollow bones and half-sleep
while circumnavigating continents.
They sense the earth’s magnetic fields,
the hunger of ice or flicker of beetle antennae,
can execute a thousand beats per minute slice
through air in a whir of wing and synapse
to escape the abyss of my cat’s eye.
They see invisible colours, keep me up
with streetlamp songs; I count their charms-
green for tidings, skeins and murder,
red for chatterings and lamentations.
Each morning I wake to blunder,
rubber booted and watch them lift
in a shockwave of flock and caw –
they know when a storm is coming;
they know a scarecrow when they see it.

Morag Smith’s short fiction and poetry have been published in ezines, magazines and anthologies, including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Pushing Out the Boat(Apr 2021), Poetry Ireland Review, Crannog and Gutter. She is the winner of the 2021 Paisley Book Festival /Janet Coates memorial poetry prize. She’s currently trying to pull together her first collection and well as working on a pamphlet about the ecology, wildlife and human history of the partly abandoned site of Dykebar Psychiatric Hospital in Renfrewshire.