Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain

Suddenly out of nowhere a flock
           of rose-ringed parakeets appears
above the trees : these beautiful
           hardy tropical birds have adapted
to our cooler climate
           and love nothing more than to scavenge
for buds and berries in our back gardens
           For a moment they settle on the top
of a tall conifer and the air is alive
           with their endless raucous chatter
then one launches into the air
           into a long sinuous graceful glide
and one by one the others follow
           then they scatter in pairs
one chasing the other
           playing spitfires
playing tag
           before reassembling once more
in the upper branches
           of the same conifer
and for a moment they are still
           perhaps catching their breath

These birds are true survivors :
           out of the blue news arrives
of a fresh food source
           and the squadron scrambles
into the air
           and they are gone

John Lyons


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