Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
- TITLE: Raptor!
By Patricia Herchenroether
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and dewdrops were burned from the stalk.
As the coastal world stirred into motion,
birds awakened upon Chimney Rock.
On a ledge high above sandy beaches,
peregrine chicks, downy white,
squinted through vast ocean reaches,
and blinked at the dazzling light.
The nestlings cried out in their hunger,
crops empty and shrunken by fast.
The older one stabbed at the younger,
her patience a blur of the past.
Urged on by the mewls from their aerie,
the parents, with efforts renewed,
soared higher to catch the unwary;
driven to feed their young brood.
Below them a pigeon homed, weary,
en route to a faraway cote.
Exhausted, her smoke eyes grew bleary,
of predators she took no note.
The tiercel snapped wings closed and dropped;
the pigeon did not have a chance.
The victor lived on, the other was stopped
in nature’s perpetual dance.
His mate spied a Canada goose
and stooping, she went for the dive.
The gander fought hard and tore loose,
borne up by his will to survive.
The peregrines labored all day,
as the sun swept its way to the west.
Successes and failures, as is the way,
but enough for the chicks in the nest.
Dusk draped its cloak over shoulders;
beneath it the sleeping chicks curled.
Shadows traced paths across boulders.
Night claimed the Chimney Rock world.
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