Thursday, 4 February 2010

Capercaillie Tree

This ancient wood is haunted
by a mythic forest spirit.
We walk in awe, alert for
champagne cork popping calls.

Behind each lichened tree
invisible birds lek* in silence
but flee as we approach.

In the heart of the forest
we find a strange Scot's pine
with flattened topmost branches.

"That's the capercaillie's perch"
we're told "and this is as close
as we'll ever get to the bird itself."

We strain our eyes
but shadows remain

just shadows.


a lek is the display area for capercaillie or other species of grouse; also the name for the display itself.

8 comments:

Jasmine said...

Lovely poem. Do you know the charity book that you were published in a couple of months ago, I'd like to get a copy. Could you give me the link again? xJ

Gordon Mason said...

I like the idea of invisibility yet shadows.

Bill said...

capercaillie
perched at the treetop–
as close as we can get

Gillena Cox said...

nice poem; enjoyed the innate characteristics of the birds; invisible though the are; that the flee at the approach of humans :)

much love
gillena

Rabbits' Guy said...

ghost birds!

JoMo said...

Really evocative. Thanks!

Titus said...

Really liked this, particularly the incongruous "champagne cork poppong calls." in the first stanza and then the close. Mythic, and yet so real.

Rambling Woods said...

I love the poem and thank you for including the link to the bird...