The seeker of truth
will find honour and deceit
in equal measure
The seeker of truth
will find honour and deceit
in equal measure
The tweet had come through to my phone whilst we were driving over to see my aged Mother. This was to be a surprise visit. For three weeks she had been pestering me to introduce my latest girlfriend to her. I suppose she was as shocked as I that a nice young girl was willing to accommodate my foibles, bad habits and awful sense of humour and be foolish enough to meet me more than once.
Every time I had ever mentioned a girl’s name I could imagine her plotting a wedding. So far, she had been disappointed and I wasn’t sorry to keep dashing her hopes.
I could imagine her reaction when I had announced that I’d met someone and this crazy girl had expressed a desire to meet her despite my reservations and thinly veiled warnings.
The afore-mentioned was called Sally, and was beside me in the car. She picked up the phone when the notification sounded and told me that it was a tweet then asked if I was happy for her to read it for me.
It transpired that a Great grey shrike had been sighted about fourteen miles away from our destination. Sally was aware that I was a pretty keen birdwatcher and had occasionally sat quietly in a bird hide with me and despite her probable boredom had manged to retain a sense of humour. I sensed that under the attractive exterior was a closet twitcher.
This bird would be a first for me and as I always carried binoculars in the car this was an opportunity not to be missed. We stopped and taking the phone from her I checked the time of the message. Then we pulled the atlas out of the glove compartment and with a growing excitement on my part, started to plan the route to the last known sighting place. We could get there within half an hour. It was out at the edge of the moor, quite close to one of the narrow B roads that abound in that part of the country.
As we approached the site it was easy to spot for there were quite a few cars drawn up along the grass verges. We followed suit and grabbing my binoculars and camera we headed for a break in the granite, dry-stone wall. Luckily the ground was dry as there had been unseasonably little rain for the past couple of months.
There was a small group of people standing about a hundred yards from the opening; a few standing next to tripods on which were perched cameras with telephoto lenses attached. Each as long and thick as one of my arms. All lenses pointing at a medium height ash tree with sharp, snapped limbs and very little leaf cover.
Sally and I tagged on the end of the semi-circle and raising my glasses I started to focus on the bare branches. It only took a couple of minutes to spot the first tell-tale sign of the shrike. Festooned over the spiky, short branches I spotted a frog, two mice and numerous large flying insects, all hanging grotesquely like circus acrobats frozen in mid-swing. Each little corpse starkly silhouetted against the darkening sky. A few twitched haphazardly in their death throes. I asked Sally if she wanted a look and was surprised at her eagerness to take the glasses from me. She asked me what was happening there so I explained about the rather gruesome habits of this bird, also known as the Butcher bird. Her fascination was palpable when I explained that the bird catches prey when it can and uses a tree or sometimes a wire fence as a larder in case food becomes scarce.
An excited tremor passed through the group and all eyes went up as suddenly the focus of our attention turned to a small grey bird that flew rapidly back to the tree. Then it hopped from branch to branch looking for another natural hook on which to hang the still struggling body of a field-mouse. Then he was off again and with my desire to add this bird to my list sated, Sally and I took a few photos of the grisly display. With a broad grin on both our faces we returned to the car to continue our journey.
I was happy that Sally had been so interested but the look on her face when I told her about the larder could be a bit worrying as it might show a different side to her character..
shimmer in the warm sun’s glow,
soon to form rainbows.
Her trap is set. Grasping the last strand she sits motionless in the dark, cool sand at the bottom of her burrow and waits. She feels a vibration and tensing her legs prepares to grasp and pierce her prey. The trapdoor springs up and a flood of raindrops rush in soaking the fur that covers her black, bloated body. A desert flash storm. She leaves the trapdoor open knowing that it will soon dry in the bright sun then she can continue her lonely vigil.
The dust of ages
covers the petrified bones
in the sepulchre.
Memories of ancestors,
unknown but not forgotten.
written for https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/10/30/colleens-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-108-afraid-grave-synonymsonly/
Let the clocks strike twelve
then the hunger will begin
that the hordes may feed
Stained marble stones hide bleached bones.
A place of sadness.
From his raised throne at the head of the hall, the Compte LaReine turned to his master chevalier.
“I’ll see them now, my three guests.”
The heavy oak doors at the end of the hall swung back and three white robed knights were invited into the long, wood-panelled hall. They had surrendered their swords and shields, distinctively marked with the red long-halted cross.
The three approached the dais and bowed low before the Count. Dubois, their spokesman started to introduce himself and his companions but was rudely interrupted by a loud, bellowing voice demanding the reason for their apparent desertion from the Templar order.
Unbeknown to them the Count was dismayed that they had not been willing to divulge the whereabouts of the legendary famed Templar treasure. He knew that the Order had lost favour and wished to curry favour with King Phillip. After secret negotiations he had agreed that the three, accused of heresy, although falsely, would be confined for two days and without trial, put to death as ordered by the King.
“Take them below,” he thundered and roughly, without ceremony, they were lead away. Two days later they were unceremoniously put to death and their bodies taken and placed in a shallow grave in the forest to be forgotten.
So they remained for the next two centuries until the Pope was persuaded to grant a pardon to all the French Templars and throughout the country, the bodies were exhumed where known and re-interred beneath marker stones in the territories where they were once revered for their piety and fighting prowess.
These stones remain a place of pilgrimage, although more often a destination for treasure hunters and the curious.
Part of our Nature
is the pursuit of progress
and a life of ease.
Giving in to temptation,
your soul is a Wilderness.
It was the first day of our guided tour. Myself and the other thirty passengers exited the luxury coach as we arrived at the forbidding wire mesh gates. I assumed that like me, all were on a personal pilgrimage.
i looked around at my fellow travellers, there was no look of expectant excitement on any of the faces. On the journey the atmosphere was subdued as everyone was visiting to bring closure to stories of their family’s fate.
Photography was allowed so I sent my drone up, instantly tears formed as it picked out the child’s toy on the roof.
Received this quiz from The Bag Lady rugby843 Insight into the real me . . .
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