Jackdaw Promenade


‘It is time we stopped taking walks together. Follow.’
The jackdaw knows we’re watched and is ashamed.
‘I don’t expect you’ll fly like show-off swallows,
but if we stay aground like this folks think I’m maimed.’


‘It is sad’, he adds, ‘that only in reflections,
like this one, can you reach the chimney tops.
If you’d better coordinate your genuflections
or hold you mouth right when you practice hops


we’d be the bee’s knees. Walk right on the edge
like I am, and, when I do, try to soar.’
Intent, I move from Hatch almost to Fledge
but chicken out, unfeathered, one time more.


‘There are few bipeds I’ve met with who are ground-leashed.
Are you an ostrich? You will get me ostracised’,
says the jackdaw sotto voce, adding, ‘Sheesh!’
I am fed up being walked and criticised


and I hope he’ll leave. He demonstrates a takeoff,
wings pitched to rise, and I call out, ‘Farewell’
but he pretends that I yelled ‘stroganoff ‘
and answers, ‘Where’s the beef?’ – he’s smart as hell


but a travesty as friend. He eyes a boat
and asks would I require a flying bridge
or an aeroplane to get across this moat.
I tell him blackbird pie is in the fridge,


and he says he’s et already and he alters
position getting set to cross the street.
‘Is walking something else at which you falter?’
says the jackdaw. ‘Now I’ll show you something neat.’


And he does. He crosses his path then takes mine.
When Jackdaw walks he walks with fire and flair.
‘Try this’, he says in parting. He’s so fine,
both feet at once stride neatly on thin air.

5 thoughts on “Jackdaw Promenade

  1. Jackdaw Promenade is terrific. Shows communion with one of nature’s creatures, humor with a touch of sarcasm, and clearly understood communication. Nice.

  2. Loved the promenade !!!!!!!!!!!!keep them comeing ! We have several
    big black birds in our yard( crows I think) but none as smart as Jack daw. Love Jane

  3. Just re-read this piece because this jackdaw looks like the common grackle that in the summer dominates my birdfeeders in Eastern North Carolina. My bird book says the jackdaw has been a recent visior to Northeastern USA, and describes it as a small crow, lively and inquisitive.

  4. Heerlijke observatie van een van de gezelligste vogels van ons land, op de mus na. Ja, ze zijn verdomd slim en schandelijke opportunisten. Omdat ik altijd wat onzeker ben over mijn begrip van jouw Amerikaanse teksten, heb ik Google het gedicht laten vertalen, wat een apart soort moderne poëzie oplevert. Dank voor je gedicht en leuke foto’s. Tot morgen, André

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