Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – #writephoto messenger

corvid in flight - Sue Vincent

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When I initially saw the photograph, I couldn’t think of anything to write for this prompt. On my way to work yesterday, however, I was looking at the bare branches of the trees and thinking about how flammable they are. This thought led me on to the terrible recent fires that were experienced in Knysna, South Africa, and this poem jumped into my head.

The watcher

The dry branches

reach up beseechingly,

As if imploring

for redemption

from a horrifying fate.


Wispy tendrils

of grey smoke

float up searchingly,

A promise of what’s to come.


A crackle and flicker,

The flames leap and dance,

The bird takes to flight

circling round and round,

Watching and waiting.

By Robbie Cheadle

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town (coming soon)



35 thoughts on “Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – #writephoto messenger

  1. An excellent poem Robbie.. Yes some awful fires around the world right now.. And its hard to image all the creatures which are getting caught up within them.. The birds at least can fly.. Although I do remember a vivid picture once of a bird who had chosen to try and protect her young on the nest.. She was found deceased with wings outstretched trying to protect her chicks.. She could have saved herself, but such was her instincts and love for your young brood, she chose to stay..

    Wishing you a beautiful Day, we are getting the rains, and storms.. I pray the land gets the much needed rain soon my friend.. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sue. The story about the bird is rather tragic. I hope that the Western Cape in South Africa will receive rain soon. There was a family of three killed in the Knysna fire and the mother was pregnant. It was a terrible thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is an awesome photo, and your poem does it justice. Haunting and sad.

    We have horrible wildfires every year in parts of the U.S., though not where I live. The devastation is always terrible. I hope htere is relief for the people of Knysna.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tandy. I have been in two fires in Johannesburg, one when we lived on a plot in Honeydew and one when we lived in Jukskei Park. These were when I was a child and these areas were sparsely populated. I find fire very scary.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how this is told from the point of view of the bird. I always wonder how wildlife manage to live through wildfires. We are having so many out here in the Western US, quite a few in California. The loss of wildlife and trees is always so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

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