Common Ground

Common Ground

I calculate the angle of attack,
Alter my approach. Ailerons
Raised; I come into land.
I can spot the tiniest movement
From eighty feet –
Swoop, catch, consume.

It’s all in the preparation,
A pilot’s checklist.
I wear the colour of black,
Creep under their radar.
Addressing worms below
With a mighty V sign.
And you call me bird-brained!

This particular stealth bomber
Sits proudly in the apple tree,
Head tilted, eye fixed
On a single blade of grass.
Assesses the moment to pounce,
The time to stoop.
Readies himself.

Branch resonates.
Sprung into the void,
To devour and feast
On the succulent, fat worm below.

“Don’t eat me!”

Lingua franca
Bridges the elements.
Spans the gulf
Between the foes.

Stunned, the bird
Stalls, falls
A whirl of confusion,
A mass of ruffled feathers.
Just in time, he pulls up,
Regains his composure.


“Don’t eat me”.

“For I am a digger, a nourisher,
A toiler and tiller,
A compost-heap of delight.
Without me, you would never
Taste berries, so red and ripe
Or perch on your tree
So lofty and high.
We are legion.
On the work of billions
Your life depends”.

Blackbird eyes his adversary
In a new light.
Pearlescent, deep-jet stare.
“Fat, juicy worm,
My children are hungry.
They cry for food.
Kill or be killed.”

“The same winds which drove you here
Powered your flight,
The same jetstream, the same clouds
The same rain, the same instinct
Causes me to surface for air
When pitter-patter drums the ground.
The same urge to procreate,
To fend for our brothers and sisters
Beats in my heart as it does yours.
We stand on common ground.”

“I am a maker, a delver and digger
Gardener of tender shoots, green leaves.”

Blackbird bends ever closer,
To hear this strange speech.

“To eat me would . . .”

Beak stabs, snaps.
Worm falls silent.


You can help support the Socialist Party by buying a short book of my poems, ‘Little Red Poetry’: Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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2 Responses to “Common Ground”

  1. bobbacass Says:

    Dear Drew, completely brilliant. Please print out and add to the Pinggg…K! Visitors’ Book …. XXXXXXX Bobba Cass

    • Walton Andrew Says:

      Thanks very much Bobba – would love to make it along to Pinngg..K! this week, but I can’t – there is just too much happening with Everybody’s Reading. Am off to Tony Church’s play at the Western tonight; I’m speaking at a public meeting in defence of the NHS on Wednesday (Richard III pub, 7.30pm) and then I am performing at the Donkey on Thursday, 8pm – ‘Goodbye to Maggie Thatcher’, with the Splitters, Bali Rai and KGB Jazz. Very hectic! Will see you at the next Pinngg..K! though and will bring along a copy of the poem : ) Thoroughly enjoyed the earthworm / blackbird poetry on offer this year.

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