The soft trill of the Robin, and

the blackbird’s muffled refrain,

are but preludes to the main performance,

the speech he has prepared all year. 


Every morning at half past five,

from the topmost twigs of the  beech,

He delivers his address,

More salesman than would be lover.

His voice, not so much a song as a pitch,


Most political of birds, he insinuates, proclaims, harangues,

His shrill soliloquy, coercion at full volume,   

Imperative, impossible to ignore,

Each phrase repeated three times,

For emphasis, but never again. . 


A nest, a nest, a nest

By the stream, by the stream, by the stream,

Not far away, not far way, not far away,

Come and have a look, a look, a look,

Delight,  delight, delight

Just see, see, see!     


Not a romantic echo from the woods,

Nor the alarming trill of the urgent wren,

But the rhetoric of spring, the compelling

need for regeneration in whistles, rattles,

warbles and warning churrs. .


Two speeches a day, morning and evening;

An exhausting schedule for any campaign,

But by the end of April he stops,  the nest is built,

The eggs are laid, the priority changed.