by Les Wicks

Published in Issue No. 273 ~ February, 2020

Kozhikode Eagles


The friendly attendants lead me to my cage.

I have air, water & newspaper lining the base.

Windows struggle with the light.


Call from my comfortable containment to the eagles

above a car storage lot next door — all new with

their wipers pulled out from the windscreens

like the antennae of snoozing cockroaches.


There’s a hint of ant nest

out on Mavoor Rd

A bit of beetle in the stalls selling phone accessories.


Those eagles hardly ever seem to land…

this weave of air they inhabit

while commerce crawls & crunches below.

Pomegranates tumble towards earth

spice films everything.


The city is the birds’ business too

though I can’t imagine what they eat

or where their nesting hides.


Earthbound in our mix of compassion & abuse

busy with necessities & dreams,

the scuttle lacks any sense of grace.

How did people like us

build or banish so much

with those flightless hands?

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Over 35 years Wicks has performed at festivals, schools, prison etc. Published in over 250 different magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 16 countries in 9 languages. Conducts workshops around Australia & runs Meuse Press which focuses on poetry outreach projects like poetry on buses & poetry published on the surface of a river. His 10th book of poetry is Barking Wings (PressPress, 2012).