The sky is pale and grey, not heavy, but flat and low.
The world is shallow, horizontal, with little space to breathe,
except in spaces cleared by flurries of warm wind.
Sparrows visit, fearless, curious thieves,
crumbs disappearing at the speed of flight.
A magpie swoops in, a botanic priest to correct the masses.
A large golden dog steps forward and they take to the air.
The roses are every colour from white to peach, cerise to ruby,
some freshly opened, some over-blown.
Stopping at the climbing roses,
and drawing a branch close to breathe in the perfume,
a conversation approaches, full of soft “-sh-sh-“ sounds,
the sound of the breeze and these dark, blood-red blooms.
This is the beginning of a longer piece based on notes taken on 19 December 2017. Its taken me a while to feel that I’m beginning to understand how this wants to be written. But this feels right, and I’ll persevere with the rest…its not always an easy process.
(and in the meantime – imagine a photograph of bird footprints…I’m working on it)
I feel thoughts circling
words waiting to be touched
the birds waiting to land
who have always been with me
just out of sight
only approaching from the side
when I’m looking ahead
or looking back
or when I’m still
eyes closed, mind open, listening
then they come
black birds of the imagination
bones bleached white in memory
feathers full of dreams
songs and claws and tails and wings
they strut and hop across the page
leaving spiky footprints, unbound symbols
runes of divine connection
or gently, they lower one wing
to deceive, or to start over
brushing the page clean
sometimes, they are so sure of their song
they stab with their beak
straight through, and pin it to the page
all I can ever do
is trace a line from the edge of one footprint to the next
and trust in the story
they want told
unable to sleep
I sit by the window
looking out into darkness
into my knowledge
of what lies beyond the glass
my eyes see nothing
but the soft black mounds of hills
given shape by the merest light
of moon and star
filtered through cloud
and there is stillness and quiet
the night-quiet when the wind has calmed
and tree ferns hang their fronds down
relaxing their leafy arms into the dark
while the birds sleep in the trees
there are creatures about
snails edging across the driveway
cats patrolling their borderlands
and a moth that stumbles across this page
on its way towards the torchlight
that lights my pen