Theophilus Kwek

The London Magazine - - NEWS - Theophilus Kwek

24.6.16 H.

Red kites, na­tive to Turkey, Morocco, and parts of Europe, were de­clared ‘ver­min’ by the English crown and hunted nearly to ex­tinc­tion. They were suc­cess­fully rein­tro­duced to the UK in 1989.

No red kites over the field this morn­ing. How­ever hard I looked, I could not find

A sin­gle crest­ing pair, their high crosses In­vis­i­ble – as if un­pitched from the grass.

No dry swoop, no sound­ing. No clat­ter from Morn­ing’s fed spar­rows ris­ing in alarm,

No hare’s car­cass eaten be­hind our wall, Noth­ing astir. No court­ing on the fell

In cu­ri­ous pat­terns, no stum­bling dis­play Of swift shad­ows bend­ing above the Wye.

No haunt. No song. Only the heaven’s blue Grace­less fire, and then as a ghost pur­sued

Across a moor, the hunt­ing-horn’s burly Cry

cru­cify, cru­cify, cru­cify.

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