Night Sounds….Roookie…..

by Bernie Bell - 16:16 on 13 August 2022

I risk going on and on about Bartholomew Barker’s poetry – but he’s just so bloomin’ good!  Yesterday’s Fraiku - which I read today as he lives in America - is…..

Night Sounds

An orchestra of raspy wings
almost covers the faint scrape
of paws padding nearby.

Why bother opening eyes
in the primeval dark?

(A Fraiku with two bonus lines to make it a Franka, maybe.)

How he produces such a strong effect with so few words will always be a mystery to me.

According to the ‘comments’ other readers see this poem as being ‘spooky’ - to me it’s what Bartholomew names it - night sounds – and he catches them perfectly. I think it’s wonder-full and full of life and the night and ....critters.

In ‘Dune’ Frank Herbert writes that fear is a mind killer – and it is……it takes away your reasoning.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

- Frank Herbert, Dune

And here’s my tuppenceworth…….


You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Just because we’re not in bodies,

Doesn’t mean we’re DEAD you know;

We’re still part of LIFE.

You’re the shadow,

We’re the substance.

Spirit isn’t in the body,

The body moves in spirit.

Ghosts, indeed!

Bernie Bell

When there’s a noise in the night – it’s always best to look – then you can sleep peacefully.

He’s right though – it hearkens back to a fear of the critters in the dark that might eat you.  You’d think we could get beyond that wouldn’t you – with our big brains?  Discuss...


On Being Spooked

“You knew where to find that –

That’s spooky” she said


“No, it’s just how it is.”  I said

“But it is spooky” she said


“No, it just happens – part of LIFE

How is it spooky?


What’s to be afraid of? 

The un-known?”  I said


Do we fear the unknown?

Or do we wonder at it?


‘Spooks’ aren’t spooky

They’re just people


What they do can seem spooky

Until we ask them why -

Same as anyone.








A flock of Rooks regularly flies over our garden – we think they’re from the Rookery at Woodwick House.  There’s one who is often on his own.  We call him Roookie – pronounced the Yorkshire way – and he’s a very clever bird.  His beak is too big for him to peck bits from the feeder but he worked out that when the feeder was freshly filled to the brim he could either land on the cross-bar, push the lid up and pick whole nuts from the top or, when the level has gone down a bit he could perch on the cross-bar, shove the lid up, clamp himself onto the mesh of the feeder, and stick his head down into it to get nuts.  When it got to a certain level he could no longer do this, and we wouldn’t see him again until it was filled again.  

What I don’t understand is – why the other Rooks didn’t copy him?

Roookie’s depredations on the lid of the feeder meant that eventually it split - so we got a new feeder from the RSPB – very solid with a metal lid.  Roookie turned up this morning.  Sat on the cross-bar – looked at the feeder – looked at the lid.  Then settled down to preen himself. I suppose he was philosophical about not being able to get at the nuts, and it is a good place to stand and look about him for other possibilities.

Smart bird.  No use crying over in-accessible nuts!


Here’s one I made earlier…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/02/19/orkney-walks-between-two-totem-poles/



Add your comment

Your Name

Your Email (only if you are happy to have it on the site)

Your Comment - no HTML or weblinks

Enter this number in the box below and click Send - why?Unfortunately we have to do this to prevent the system being swamped by automated spam

Please note that whenever you submit something which may be publicly shown on a website you should take care not to make any statements which could be considered defamatory to any person or organisation.
Click for Map
sitemap | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement