Brood Parasite by Eira Needham

Brood Parasite

From ivied stage a robin serenades,
while in the meadow grass his broody hen
hops among the boulders and invades
a crevice, moulding lichen for a den

to lay her brood. The parasite’s near call
provokes the bubbling chuckles of his mate;
she spies the moss concealed within the wall
and sneaks an egg inside to incubate.

Her chick emerges, fluttering to prise
all redbreast babies out. Instinctively,
it simulates their empty bellied cries.
Poor surrogate is hoodwinked by its pleas

and forages for worms, to satisfy
that constant gaping beak. Thriving it grows
to thrice the foster’s size. Ready to fly,
behemoth baby quits the crib and crows

cu coo. . . .cu coo. . . .cu coo

by Eira Needham

Editor’s Note: Enjambment and rhyme skillfully illustrate the ruthlessness of the season in this spring poem.

Hymn of Comfort by Eira Needham

Hymn of Comfort

Though countless years have lapsed, I still perceive
your sparkle in September brume. If wilting,
I’m replenished when I catch your lilting
voice or feather-touch upon my sleeve.

Refreshing like a west-wind through the yews
in dog days heat, your peony perfume
revitalizes wafting round my room.
When tossed in sleepless waves, all thoughts askew,

I hear familiar strains of Calon Lan;
then drift into a soporific cave,
discovering the tranquil pool I crave.
As timbres linger, threads begin to darn

the frayed perimeters of life’s debris,
repair my yearning for your company.

by Eira Needham

Editor’s Note: This sonnet uses the form to weave memory into an ode of remembrance.