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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1692424-Talons-of-Death
by Harry
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Animal · #1692424
Different style poems (storoem and free-verse) about a hawk and a dove in my backyard.
Storoem version:

I live in a suburban part of town.
Birds of many sorts flock to my backyard.
Yesterday a young hawk came swooping down,
pinning a dove to the ground. It was hard

watching as the hawk’s talons held the dove
in a death grip. There was no struggle made.
The talons pierced deep – quick death from above.
The hawk’s curved beak sliced through flesh like a blade.

The hawk tore and pulled apart bloody meat,
feathers falling to encircle his feast.
As the sunshine stoked the afternoon’s heat,
the bird showed the cruelty of a beast.

Pierce by piece, he devoured his poor prey.
The other birds sat in the trees and called
out alarms and protests in their own way.
A male blue jay dived at the hawk, which stalled

its continued consumption a short while.
Scanning the yard with his black-pupiled, cold,
yellow eyes, the hawk saw no threat worthwhile.
The jay’s repeat dives were in vain, though bold.

The hawk tore apart and swallowed until
the dove’s body had no more flesh to give.
Then he took to the air -- a sight to thrill.
I’d watched predator eating prey to live.


Free-verse version:

My backyard was filled
with numerous birds
of many colorful varieties
eating from my seed feeders –
a quite idyllic scene,
an idyllic scene suddenly
violated by a hawk swooping
down to catch a dove
in a death grip in his talons.

The other birds immediately
flew to safety, seeking sanctuary
in nearby bushes and trees.
Their calls and cries of alarm
and protest over what had befallen
one of their kind, other prey,
filled the air with harshness.

The hawk had the dove,
thankfully already dead
from talons piercing deeply
into its body, pinned to the ground.
The hawk’s beak, curved
and sharp as a blade,
sliced into the dove,
pulling feathers, tearing away
morsels of flesh. Again and again
he ripped away bloody meat
and swallowed it whole.
The hawk was a merciless
devouring machine.

One brave blue jay began
diving at the hawk, coming
within inches of its head.
The hawk ducked a bit,
but, after surveying the yard
with black-pupiled, yellow eyes
and finding no real danger,
it calmly resumed its feast.
The jay gave up its bold attempt
at scaring and settled for screaming
at the hawk while perched
on the nearby fence.

For long minutes the hawk
pulled apart, consumed the dove,
until the dove had no more flesh
to give. All remaining was a circle
of discarded feathers to mark
the place where once was a dove.
The hawk spread its wings
and took silently to the air,
its belly satisfied for the moment
with its meal of dove.

Watching this scene filled me
with sorrow for the death
of the peaceful mourning dove.
Nature can be rather ruthless.
However, I thought of the hawk,
a truly magnificent bird.
He also has the right to survive,
even if for him to live,
some other bird must die.
I’d simply witnessed
predator killing prey
according to Nature’s plan.


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http://www.amazon.com/Jr.-Harry-E.-Gilleland/e/B004SVLY02/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
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