Twenty Rooks

Twenty rooks I count them as they fly
Circling in the darkening evening sky
Twenty black rooks circling round and round
Twenty yards or so above the ground.

Do they sorrow or do they rejoice?
Who can tell rooks don't have a singing voice
Music they don't have in them to play
Caw caw caw is all they've got to say.

Rooks are not the prettiest of birds
Poets have never lauded them in words
Ugly beak and feet and feathers dark
And in their makeup not one beauty mark.

Rook the most gregarious breed of crow
Bring to farmer much financial woe
Farmer look on them as nuisance type
As they damage his grain crop when almost ripe.

But farmer doesn't seem to understand
That rook can be a good friend to his land
They help his root and grain crop in no small way
By keeping slug and wireworm at bay.

Twenty black rooks cawing in the gloam
And ready to begin their journey home
And home for them oft times noisy rookery
Where they make love and nest and disagree.

by Francis Duggan

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