The Hawks Of St Walburge – for Places of Poetry Northwest 2021

“.. It’s like riding a huge ball

of almost unlimited energy.

The power is just unbelievable.”

 – Chief Test Pilot, BAE Systems

Typhoons on test fly past

the church’s lofty spire,

where hawks hunt like angels

scrambled by a super-power;

to dispense their grisly

ex voto gifts –  dismembered

vestiges of grass-snake

vole and bird –  to the

good parish of St Walburge

and The Sacred Heart.

In an old sacrament like the

extraordinary Roman rite,

the hallowed ground below

converts this eucharist of death.

Survivors will flesh out

what’s left, the way a glove

maintains its wearer’s hand.

A wren’s bone girdle

in a knot of daisies,  

the radius of a child’s wrist.