March Preview: Kling-Klings on a Kingston Lawn

31st March 2020:

KlingKling Saffron310320

Kling-Klings on a Kingston lawn


it is not that usual in Kingston

to have the garden patrolled as such –

and further, we know not

if it is a murder


they click and whistle

while their thin black legs

wade sharp and quick, the lawn

housing their prey


out of the rabble of the Portland bush

I was seven when I first

could name our grackle

my father pointed it out to me

his European ears not so used

to drowning out their grating calls

into the wall of green tropical sound


the darting black arrows on green blades

step under the lace net shadow

cast by the guango tree

and the thing is

I can hardly remember

when last we whistled

like the impertinent kling-kling


my family borrowed one – their crotchet

and double quavered song

and like wild birds ourselves

would whistle through crowds when lost

making the kling-kling call ring

through airports in Paris

and malls in New Jersey

in foreign tongues and weather

without their feather or wing


I am here to report the news:

there is no murder – that belongs

to crows. Neither is it the unkindness

of ravens. The kling-klings on my lawn

as grackles – were a plague.



Saffron – March 2020


And now, in the spirit of an early-bird prompt, I’d like to invite you to write a poem about your favorite bird.


2 thoughts on “March Preview: Kling-Klings on a Kingston Lawn

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