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Magpie Murder by Bob Kimmerling

Arts Richmond

Online - 27 August 2020

Magpie Murder by Bob Kimmerling

Magpie Murder

Six magpies brought their mourning squawk,
soon joined by several others,
disturbing all their neighbour's talk
and waking sleepy lovers.

Some hopped and did their swaggered strut
between a felted flat roof top
and a guttered water but.
Some preferred a higher perch
and troubled nearby taller tops of green leylandii.

All the while their squawk increased
and shattered suburb's morning peace.

Two black crows flew overhead and settled,
one on gable top, the other found his place to stop
and watch from nearby sycamore.
Upright, silent, silhouettes,
not bearers of the magpie pall
but undertaking nonetheless
to show crow's dignified respects.

They joined this congregation
to recognise corvid's connect.
They joined this chorused agitation
while magpies mourned their murdered son,
crumpled feathers low on grassy ground,
‘til course of squawk and strut had run,
and one by one they flew, without a sound,
and all was done, and all was done.

by Bob Kimmerling

"Magpie Murder was observed just beyond my back garden during lockdown. Having got to greater quiet, the noise these magpies were making drew all the more attention from neigbours beginning their morning. I was astonished to observe what appeared to a funeral wake for one of their fallen, and even more astonished that they were joined by two black crows who as cousins in the crow family seemed to pay respects along with them." 

Bob Kimmerling founded the Vineyard Community Cenre and the Richmond foodbank where he continues as a trustee, as well as being a team minister at the Vineyard Life Church.

by Bob Kimmerling

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