The Magpie’s Spell

In a garden shaded by trees,

Life outside washes by in the breath of the breeze

Which rides the bells of the canterburries

Warming to the sunlight bleeding through a perished fence


Mr Piebald walks to the stone ring of a bird bath,

And gazes dumb,

Into the shallow mirror of the pool…

Still. As it should be. No ripple nor wrinkle to stir this morning.

But wait…

Is that a knocking? Or a tapping against some unchecked pipe?


Mr Piebald cups his ear against the copper mouth

And in the quiet cave of his mind, a cackle curses…

Cutting into every crevice and

Descending on his beating heart like a



A second cackle announces the form of the magpie,

Dark as sin against the hot iron of the morning,

Until a tightly coiled hose pipe quickly unravels to send it


and rattling into an overgrown ash.


A third cackle sends the magpie sweeping over the red roof

Only to drop

On the dry rim of the stone.



Goes the mirror pool,

As a quick tap

SHATTERS the still, into a

Myriad of careless dreams

Raining, sprinkling down in a faint spell.


“Devil, devil, I defy thee!”

Trembles Mr Piebald like a broken bell

And the magpie rattles its tongue and rises amidst the flame of his thoughts

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