Guest Poem by Piers Cain

Piers Cain grew up in Ruislip, Middlesex a ‘Metroland’ suburb of outer London. He read History at University College London and subsequently obtained a postgraduate diploma in Archive Studies. His career focussed on knowledge management and general management in the professional services and international development sectors. Having lived and worked in US, Europe and Africa, he is now lives in Stromness, Orkney. This poem is from Acumen 107.

The Rooks of Stromness

It’s plain the rooks of Stromness own the town.
They’re taking over slowly, plot by plot.
These black and clever birds have been around
forever, roosting high in trees. They’ve caught
the change and flown on it. Some surf the breeze
then flap to keep on going, feathers outspread
like hands, then sweep and swoop a bit, at ease
with life today. Rooks perch above the wary heads
of folk who’ve seen the spattered paving stones.
Engaged in grave discussion, abstract debate,
they tweak their stance like scholars wearing gowns,
their raucous chorus echoes off the slates.
But do they think of us below their roost
or have they seen the film? Should we be spooked?