On a solitary walk
on a simple spring day
a cruciform figure dominates the sky,
hanging over the precipice
ready to claim unknowing souls.
Below, worn down
on a tide-threatened beach,
I might see a holy portent:
‘in hoc signo vinces’,
and a new God waiting to be crowned
to rule over an old, autumnal Empire.
But in this sweet young Welsh
no brutal conflict is apparent,
no gladiatorial atrocities are committed,
no blood lust is cruelly sated.
The sound of crashing waves are hushed
beneath a silver-sickle shadow.
And life-loving Larks carefully cease
to sing their liquid song,
descending instead to safer ground.
She is as cold as grace,
perfect in her beauty
and beautifully perfect.
She is ruthless.
Her heart is untouchable, unquestionably exquisite.
Her wings beat hard
for her child
and no other thing.
I cannot but watch in silence.
I wistfully long for my passing friends,
that party of Choughs calling comic warnings
just half a mile back,
to return with their gallus chatter
and irreverent vitality.
But no, they won’t return today
to resume their hungry debate
with the barbed bill and clenched claw
of Mother Falcon.
Like the Larks they have their homes to go to.
And she has her dominion.
I stand and stare,
full of life’s terror,
as the Immaculate Falcon folds her wings
to plummet beyond the cliff
faster than sight
to take another life
and give another life.