Magpies are vilified in Europe but probably most especially in England where we are ‘forced’ to be polite to them… just in case.
Pinch me. I count 3 layers. All valid and I am proud of you.
Thank you cal – I suppose if I was going to do one about, ugh, Magpies, then it had to be strong. Six more weeks and then I won’t be seeing them every morning. How wonderful that will be.
My wren is eyeing the antics of the magpie with admiration and respect! 🙂
Oh but the wren is such a beautiful little thing – I haven’t seen one for yonks but just like that Jay, maybe one will turn up unexpectedly like. Thank you, Val. 🙂 x
Powerful writing as is the message behind it.
In answer to a post that has been done relating back unfavourably to me and this because, yet again, the author seems to think this poem is somehow about him, I would like to verify the thoughts behind this poem.
In Europe, Magpies are the scum of the birdworld. They steal other birds eggs and it’s been said that they have stolen jewellery, money and even young chicks. It was said that when Jesus was crucified, all the birds cried apart from the Magpies. They are commonly lambasted for bringing bad luck and evil, hence the salute that I myself have to give an extended crowd of magpies each morning that I drop my daughter off at school. I had to break up a situation in my back garden many years ago where, having watched them tend their young chick, I then watched the two parents attempt to make their fledgeling fly until they had pecked him half to death on my lawn.
There are many superstitions that are attributed to them and up North you recite ‘I defy thee’ seven times if you come across one. Hence, my putting a skew on their ‘nobbut’ (nahh’but) coloquialism. It is also said that you must never look a Magpie in the eye.
Last weekend, I was walking to the pub to celebrate a friend’s birthday and I saw a Jay. I have not seen one since I was a kid, as they normally reside in the country. Although they are no better than Magpies in their thieving behaviour, they are such a rare sight that it can’t help but take your breath away. I was in awe of the bird and tried to take a photo but it just stayed slightly beyond me each time I tried.
The picture associated with this poem is a sculpture by Polly Morgan. Although many of her pieces have much amazing about them, I find this one lame – for want of a better word. I came across her having attended the Brighton University Graduate’s art exhibition last week. There was a wardrobe with empty nests and other curious animals littered around the room and it led me to finding out how much of an inspiration she is to art students.
However, didn’t Dali do this telephone jazz with a lobster some decades ago?
With the Magpie known as thief, it seemed beautifully ironic.
I can’t worry about how people will perceive my poetry. I write because I love to write and it’s possible I’m not half bad at it.
Daisy – I was hoping you’d remind me of the rhyme you said you recited each time you saw one. I think if there is a message behind it, it’s kinda be strong? Like when I caught my first spider, haha… there really is nothing to be afraid of if you keep your chin up and defiant?
Nicely done. I only saw two layers though.
Ohhh interesting. I love birds and find them endlessly inspiring.
Though I think magpies are thought of differently in Australia … I think crows would be along the same kinds of lines … I never mess with crows, that’s for sure.
I have no love for magpies either – but I love the folklore that surrounds them and so many other familiar birds. This is a super poem; a swirl of ideas and words that’s great fun to get caught up in.
“Victorious in every way!”
Also … I wanted to write an appreciative comment on your bed poem (which is gorgeously indolent and sensual and beats Tracey Emin’s bed by miles), but the comment function has turned off (I hope you don’t mind my sneaking in a remark here!).
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