I hope readers will forgive me if I take a moment to note the passing of a family friend whose interest in poetry and peregrines gave pleasure to many. Ray Woodland passed away in his eighties earlier this week. A member of "PM Poets", he allowed us to reproduce one of his pieces last year, and it seems fitting to share this with you again.
Swifter than swallows and straight as a dye
an elegant peregrine hunting will fly,
bright barred is his plumage, but Nature decreed
that it's hidden from laggards in bursts of sheer speed,-
he falls on his quarry as bullet from gun
and strikes ---- all is over as soon as begun,
then homeward in triumph, his prey in his claws
the bird of the whirlwinds flies on without pause
to his eyrie on cliffside or cathedral ledge
to devour his catch standing bold on the edge
in view of the watchers who envy his skill, ---
immune and indifferent, he does what he will.