Sudden rush of feathers
draughting the air above me
small flocks of careening birds
fly low over the meadow
chased by strong tail winds
a dozen at a time joining
the twisting, turning mass
flowing across the evening sky
out over the lake, back over the trees
a pulsing organism, feinting left and right
like black drops of ink swirled in water
and then, on signal, they descend
in chattering swarms into the reed beds
their shrill conversations fill the air—
a murmuration of starlings at day’s end.


19 thoughts on “DAY’S END

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thank you! Can’t take credit for the last photo, but if you click on the title underneath the starlings it’ll take you to a whole slew of gorgeous photos and videos of this amazing sight.

  1. Murtagh's Meadow

    Lovely – the rhythm of the poem seems to follow the starlings from the mass of twisting bodies to their decent into the reed beds.

  2. Curt Mekemson

    Good job of capturing the phenomena with both words and camera, Melissa. Isn’t it fascinating watching them behave like some very large imaginary animal swirling across the sky. I always stop and watch in wonder. –Curt

  3. Aquileana

    I love the descriptions of that flock of birds flying and flipping in the sky… beautiful poem. dear Melissa. Merry Christmas. Love and all my best wishes to you. Aquileana 🎄

  4. Sunshine Jansen

    The first time I realized that these were actually called murmurations I just grinned like a fool and said “I love the English language!” Wonderful poem!

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Yes! Such a great word, and to stand under the flight path of such a murmuration is to fully comprehend it. All the best to you, Sunshine for a great new year.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Pearl, you’re a sweetheart. Always appreciate your reading and passing along. Best wishes for the New Year. Melissa


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s