Almanac Poetry: ‘Magpie versus Crow’ – Tommy Mallet



Magpie Versus Crow


Nothing’s familiar

on this hangover walk.

A vacant block appears

within an endless, rolling sea of suburbs –

still water, reeds and weeds knotted about its boggy heart.


Birds mill, as if kids at play in crappy,

once-glorious fountains.


My dog shits as three magpies

take on a crow.

The magpies, smaller but faster,

hammer down,

chasing the crow as its

diesel wings dodge left and right.


Somehow, the crow pins one to the ground,

and its on,

just as a lady passes.


“Do something!” she cries,

as other crows appear, sweeping in from trees,

garbage bins, fences, back yards.


The crows are now giving it to the magpies,

one of which takes flight

calling for back-up,

or maybe promises of its turn

at revenge.


It reminds me of the time I saw

three louts

invincible with grog,

take on a cabbie,

only to look up and find themselves

surrounded by taxis,

a circle of angry drivers holding tire-levers.


Feathers are flying,

the woman makes whiny, pleading noises, demanding:

“Do something!” again.


She must be mad!

These birds only have one block,

a pinprick patch,

in what was once a world.


Why deny magpie or crow

even this?



Tommy Mallet



More from Tommy Mallet HERE



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  1. Malby Dangles says

    Love your work, Tommy!

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