He seemed to hang on a string, I’d spotted him once or twice
I was enjoying a walk, he was looking for mice.
Suspended in mid air, his head perfectly still
His wind-buffeted body, gusts against his strong will.
Endlessly working to hover, constantly alert
Scanning every square metre, his eyes must have hurt.
Searching for any movement, his target stood not a chance
In a flash, hurtling downwards, focused, as if in a trance.
Onto a gate-post with his prize, it took seconds to despatch
Then up again to work those wings, no celebrating his catch.
I watched him ride the breeze, he’d turn, adjust, then float
A graceful gliding hunter, resplendent in rusty red coat
Would he hold for long enough? The direct sun was quite hot
A split-second chance for a photo, could I get just one decent shot.
I’ll never forget that bird, with his impressive rudder tail
He’s probably there again today, he’ll hunt, and he’ll not fail!
Writing & Image Carl Hier, somewhere in the Welsh valleys November 2021