Great Spotted Woodpecker
Neat, trim, compact, well shaped for climbing,
Happiest looping from tree to tree,
Skilled solo drummer, brilliant timing,
shunning all groups and publicity.
Crimson stain below the tail
Like the lady who forgot herself,
Bold crimson bandana worn by the male
Symbol of action, health and wealth.
Ah, handsome bird! A welcome sight,
But one that prefers to live unseen
And fly away if taking fright
When a human ventures on the scene
Oakwoods are best, but they like a change
And one I know seeking greater scope
Flew unusually high over Long Mynd Range
To inspect the woods of Ratlinghope.
So as I was walking through the ling
Which covers the top of the old Long Mynd
Enjoying a stroll on that morning in spring,
Fast and low came the woodpecker, like the wind.
Not a tree was in sight, and his mind was set
On surmounting that barrier high, so high,
And I heard his thoughts as he and I met
"What is this man doing in the sky?