I’m keen on reading poetry – I’ve possibly read more poems than I have novels.

I’ve never been keen on writing them, but I had to try for one of my writing classes, concentrating on rhythm rather than rhyme.

This is the result – borne of my interest in wildlife and birds of prey in particular (and it’s a nod to Ted Hughes too).

I hope you like it.


Peregrine Falcon, Feathered Assassin


A mallard, a mother. Unaware of the danger,

Leisurely gliding from this pond to that.

A quiet mile above is the killing machine.

This mallard, this mother, is merely a meal.


A glance sees no rival, the dogfight begins.

With eyes like no others – vision supreme.

Angles, trajectories, solved in an instant.

The plan is decided, the mallard is meat.


Eyes hit the target and never let go.

Legs tuck in tight and feathers pull tighter.

A vertical drop from a virtual bullet.

The sleek lines of death turn down and set chase.


No time to ponder the point of the peregrine.

Cables for tendons, steel for a skull.

Survival is everything, beauty an accident.

The merciless wings are programmed for murder.


The target is reached, the bullet bites sharply.

A crack of the neck and the job is complete.

In an instant of pain, the mallard’s life ends.

Its muscles relax to a lifeless fall.


The peregrine follows, tailing its lunch.

Now at its leisure, it flaps a hurrah.

This force of nature dives to the ground.

And instantly jumps on the cooling cadaver.


A beak like bolt-cropper stabs the soft flesh.

While wings mantle over, concealing the crime.

Soon she is full, with enough for her young.

The feathered assassin flies off to give life.