Thursday, 18 November 2021

Farewell, my Little Man…

And so succeeded.
For Felix, with immense gratitude and love…
– we shall not look upon your like again.

Like Jesus, he came down to Earth
for just a few years, and just a few days:
his message unique – delivered in mirth –
that all you need is fluff. Oh! Let us praise

the wonder that was sent to us here:
a cat full of sympathy, caring, and fun;
a creature packed so full of love there was no fear:
just a healthy appetite for life and joy, for air and sun.

He shared his heart, though, far too intensely:
his lives thus counting down as each year passed.
He hid the hurt, of course, that burned immensely,
deep inside; the joy he brought unto the last

so very much more than anyone could ever bring again.
Like Jesus, he came down to us to take away our pain.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

And pay no worship to the garish sun…

before the dawn
with thanks… to Barbara Aves (13 March 1936 to 21 December 2020)

the daws drive dark before the dawn;
gather for the final roost
     before the sun has chance to rise… –
no light today; just shadow… –
     mere shadow without end;
     sad margins robbed of symmetry.

     the daws I see
          from nowhere –
          out of nowhere –
          solemn airs
               gnarled within the gloom;
          carefree graces
               wrenched without the light.

     so many vanquished stars;
     so many stolen nightfalls;
          from nowhere –
          out of nowhere –
     the clouds I see
          astray, mislaid;
          minor keys unturned.

the silences, eclipses,
the nothings and the nowheres,
the shadows we are made of,
the dark we are afraid of… –
     all shaped the same
     but never visible… –
the daws drive dark before the final dawn.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

A long December…

It may be down to the fact that I’m listening to – no: immersed in – Counting Crows a lot, at the moment (a very extended moment that has been absorbing me for many, many days): but there seems to be a preternaturally large number of black birds flecking, piercing, spiralling, twisting and weaving the air, at the moment. (That phrase again.)

Thursday, 12 November 2020

The weight of this sad time we must obey…

I watch, and am become like a sparrow
That is alone upon the house-top.

– Psalm 102:7

It may have happened a million times. Or it may have happened just this once. Not that it matters. Not to me. Not really. But to the birds, almost certainly. Preeminently the lone shadow which still sings… – Shakespeare’s “substance of a grief” made manifest.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Unfinished sympathy…

Seven tsunamis of grief

The land is dry
And yet the waves come
Silenced as sun
And high as pain
Soundless to hide
Their beginning

The land is clear
And yet the waves come
Unmade as breath
And torn as faith
Formless to hide
Their fashioning

The land is deep
And yet the waves come
Ever as air
And light as flame
Weightless to hide
Their strengthening

The land is hard
And yet the waves come
Stoppered as wind
And brave as tree
Placeless to hide
Their happening

The land is high
And yet the waves come
Darkened as moon
And bright as night
Guiltless to hide
Their mastering

The land is walled
And yet the waves come
Driven as time
And forced as rain
Ceaseless to fault
Their bettering

The land is dust
And yet the waves come
Ravished as death
And barbed as life
Hopeless to hide
Their ending