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The Watchers Above

The Watchers Above

High above the Rose Window,

a pair of peregrine falcons

look down upon the city.

Like the citizens below, they have simple needs.

To eat, to mate, to breed;

to pass their genes on to future generations.

And in their short existence, they seek a semblance of pleasure:

the rich, plump meat of a pigeon breast

or the soapy copper taste of the fresh blood of a baby rabbit.

The satisfaction of regurgitating

a church mouse’s liver

into a chick’s craving beak.

The lazy circles in a summer thermal and

then the thrilling swoop to lift a basking trout

from the Abbey fishpond.

The moment of procreation.

The peregrines do all of these without conscious thought,

living and acting in the moment, as they have always done.

They know nothing of and care even less about the human concerns below.

The idea of mortgages, a new Mercedes, Council Tax, voting for your MP,

a round of golf and quiet pint are as alien to the peregrines as the bottom of the Atlantic.

Yet, were the birds able to see inside the human minds below,

they would find a much more familiar world, where human love belies

the human blood that is spilt,

and existence is the only prize.




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