Murmurations

This poem was written as an assignment for one of the courses in my college. We were supposed to write a fable (i.e with some moral message) and correlate it with biology (somehow). At that time, I was really interested in swarm behaviour in birds,  especially starlings. So yeah, here’s a weird poem you might like.

Murmurations
Under the cloak of blue sky,
over the widening sea
lived a group of birds
called a murmuration.
Oh!
What a group it would be.
Day by day, they flew away
to search for food
in the rarest of places.
And all they left in their wake
was a spectacle enriched with traces
of spectacular beauty.
Wound like a fist they would fall
in a cacophony of beats
and none would stall
to follow the one that is nearest.
Three rules is all they need
and nothing else to heed
the herd’s call
and follow their dearest.

Say, wouldn’t it be pretty
if thousands of birds
descended over you at once
in a single instant.
Yes !
It would be awe-some,
It would be cool.
And in this process,
you would have been made
quite a significant fool.
For they don’t have a way to talk
and all they do is take a guess
at the nearest bird
in this flock’s untangling mess.
The three rules are all they need.
This is the law of the old bird’s creed.
One of them,
let’s call him Sam
is quite a curious character.
For he is brave like a soldier
as Shakespeare would say
ready to throw his life
into the fray
without a moment’s thought.
One day
on a foggy morning,
the birds took off from their nest
each being called a starling.
Sam being special (as he so thought)
took off away from the group at an opportunity he got.
Quite funny is the case with chance
‘cause a pergerine falcon spotted him
as he performed his freedom dance.

This bird swooped from up above
in a fit of enormous hunger.
And that’s when sam realized
he had made a great blunder.
The falcon hit him with all his might
but was unable to grab a bite.
Because the murmuration hereby intervened
and saved him from getting eaten.
For the confusion that their wake created
could never be beaten.
Since that day
Sam has never strayed
from the path of this group
however frayed.
And so should you realize
that strength lies in unity
for every member
however wise.
Some links for the interested
[1] A video of a murmuration in flight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= iRNqhi2ka9k
[2] Boids – A computer program that simulates starling behaviour using just 3 simple rules
http://www.red3d.com/cwr/boids/
[3] Boids Psedudocode- Explains the rules and how they are implemented
http://www.kfish.org/boids/pseudocode.html

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