Winter roost

Cold grey morning
       magpies yet to leave
their roost : soon
       as the days lengthen
they’ll be looking
       to build their domed nests

despite their military bearing
       magpies are home birds
reluctant to travel far
       from their stamping ground

though they struggle
       to throw off their bad
reputation
       these playful birds
are innocent
       until proven guilty

John Lyons


Gîte d’hiver

Matin gris froid
       les pies n’ont pas encore
quitté leur perchoir: bientôt
       au fur et à mesure
que les jours s’allongent
       ils chercheront à construire
leurs nids
       en forme de dôme

malgré leur allure militaire
       les pies sont des oiseaux domestiques
réticents à voyager
       loin de leur territoire de prédilection

bien qu’ils luttent
       pour se débarrasser
de leur mal réputation
       ces oiseaux espiègles
sont innocents jusqu’à
       preuve du contraire

Magpie takes a dip

Magpie takes a dip

On a cold winter morning
the magpie bathes
in the garden bird bath

Three times I saw it
jump into the icy water
and flutter its wings
so as to wet itself
all over

and each time it jumped out
and sat shivering on the wall
fluttering it wings
in order to shake off the excess
before repeating the exercise

a plump black and white magpie
time carelessly beating in its breast
and who knows what
running through its mind
full of the joys of life

John Lyons