The wisdom of magpies

moon surface
                                                     Moon surface, photo by John Lyons 

Magpies – the smartest birds
       on the block
feed on beetles and flies
       and caterpillars
and spiders and worms
       and leatherjackets

In winter
       they turn vegetarian
feast on plant material
       such as wild fruits
berries and grains
      Magpies are never crossed
in love – far too smart
       for that

John Lyons

The ecology of justice

The ecology of justice

These magpies
           with their plump
white bellies
           rule the air

scattered on high branches
           they gather in groups
and sit in judgment
           upon us

I remember the white walls
           the cold damp bedrooms
the peeling eggshell distemper
           a pale sky that stretched
beyond the horizon
           and magpies sitting
on the tall trees
           at the rear of the garden
or swooping down
           onto the lawn

they sat in judgment then
           and sit in judgment now
they find us guilty
           guilty as charged

John Lyons

What we learn from magpies

What we learn from magpies

To see the world
           in this crisp autumn light
to witness the beauty of it
           to enjoy the privileges of breath
to move as the magpies move
           without a care in the world
feeding when and where
           their lives a constant exploration
bothering none as they go
           about their business

to celebrate this
           is part of our nature
to be conscious
           of the world’s innocence
to have a voice and the words
           with which to express it
to know love and to express it too
           what more could we want ?

John Lyons