Starling Murmuration


Winter sun bathes the bricks, white
tailed bumble bees tumble from
their winter bunks, stagger towards
ivy florets, the hinterland between
park and street – a refuge from exhaust
fumes and a thousand hurrying feet.
Rush hour and darkening sky
heavy with manic murmuration
starts a panic among the beetling crowds.

Upturned faces –
Sudden cessation of shriek –

Like a giant bat’s wing the flock
shrouds the city wall and hangs –
silent above the footfall.

Twenty or thirty years ago huge flocks of tens of thousands of starlings roosted in cities.  They no longer roost in such numbers here in Newcastle upon Tyne.


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