Anguished cries of lapwings rise
from deep in sedgy fields to sky;
their tinny raspings bring to mind
an anguish of a different kind:
the mewling of a starving child;
a young girl’s screams as she’s defiled;
a mother’s keening of despair;
a grandmother’s calm and care
as she sings a soothing lullaby
of winter lapwings wavering by.

Kim M. Russell, 19th July 2018

Image result for lapwing flock in a Norfolk sky in winter
Image found on

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Get Listed: July Edition also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry

Sanaa is our host for this month’s Get Listed prompt and she has taken ‘The Last Rose of Summer’ by Thomas Moore as inspiration.

She wants us to come up with our own brief creations, remembering to keep your poems under 100 words., by choosing one of the word groups (using all four words) in a form of our choice or in free verse.


49 thoughts on “Anguish

  1. My goodness you have truly captured the feeling of anguish here, Kim. I like the contrast of “soothing lullaby” and “winter lapwings” .. Powerful writing 💕


  2. A very strong and powerful poem, the various descritptions mentioned are happening all over the world and these things really fill one with anger and anguish.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whena child is violated parents somehow feel they have failed and the anguish is enormous and it takes a grandparent to be the one that copes with her soothing lullaby to help ease the pain and shame. Beautifully written Kim.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I know it is a stretch but as a grandmother I know I would feel the anguish tripled – mine, my daughter’s and my granddaughter’s or as we often do the anguish of all the anguish everywhere. I hear the sound of the lapwing in her lullaby as a wavering, “tinny raspings” of old age and hurt.
    This is stellar work.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a beautiful sight – the lapwing against the sky. Your poem transported me, Kim, and made me consider the anguish of countless people whose daily struggles I will never know.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Beautiful Kim and I agree with Rosemary re the rhyme and rhythm.
    Dare I say the rhythm is broken on the eighth line and would be easily fixable.
    Sorry, please feel free to hit me!
    The kindest of regards
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Than you, Anna. I wouldn’t dream of hitting you! I would be upset if you didn’t feel you could point out something in my poems – that’s one of the reasons I post them. 😊 I’ll take a look at line eight this evening. My husband has gone to London to support an old friend of ours who’s in a boxing match this evening. I am doing something he, the headbanger that he is, would not approve of – watching Mamma Mia on TV! I’ve never seen it, so I may not last the whole film.


  7. Oh, this anguish brings to light all the torments of this world of the living and how we find our comfort in small considerations like a caring hand or a lullaby. To find that comfort, in the end, is significant.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I keep on moving back and forth between the poem and the comment box. I’m not even sure how many times I’ve read this piece. The sounds conjured by every line (I googled lapwing’s cry and I thought my heart would break). I swear I can hear the birds and the girl and the mother and the grandmother (thank goodness for grandmothers).

    I love the rhythm of the piece. The fact that it can be chanted as a lullaby makes it even more powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the lapwings at beginning and ending…….and in between, the anguish of humans , bracketed by beauty. I love the calm grandmother. We are the ones who stay steady in the tempest. Someone has to.


  10. kaykuala

    their tinny raspings bring to mind
    an anguish of a different kind:

    Unwittingly they remind us that crying for help can always be heard but not addressed fast enough. It is a pity that the weak is the victim in many instances!. Thoughtful take, Kim!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I’m thinking of making it part of a quartet I’m putting together for a poetry competition – a bird for every season type of thing. We get such a variety of birds in North Norfolk.

      Liked by 1 person

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