Weird Birdy Things

The thing about blogging is that, for me, it’s just a personal record made public –purely personal, all my own, my solitary rants and raves and general nonsense, plus occasional moments of jollity and perhaps tenderness.

But the personal was made very public yesterday and I’m going to share it now, because it’s already out there, floating in the golden sunshine of Covent Garden, in the rafters of the gorgeous Actors’ Church, in the tears left on the creaky pews, and because of two people whom I love and loved very, very much. I’m going to try and briefly paraphrase a little of what Polly experienced, although I cannot possibly ever do her words, or feelings, justice.

There have been weird birdy things happening since Tom left. A buzzard circling their home, day after day; woodpigeons, magpies … doing unusual things. Very weird birdy things. An hour after Tom died, on the morning of July 20th, Pol went outside. Facing her were two goldfinches. Beautiful and unafraid. Since that morning, goldfinches have been appearing in the apple tree, in the garden, and following her across the cornfields where she and Tom spent so many hours walking. The collective noun for goldfinches is a ‘charm’ – perhaps one of the most lovely, rich and affecting words possible. And a word that describes so much of who Tom was.

In lieu of being able to do anything other than weep for her – and our loss, I wrote this for her. She read it yesterday during his extraordinary memorial and I hope – no, I believe, that Tom heard every word.

Charm

They are gold and red, suddenly, in the trees

a riverbed of song babbles through the garden

on this morning from the other world.


They follow me, a charm

small feet patter pattering, they dance

the spell you curled around my finger, my heart

within this castle we built, bewitched –


The forest bends its branches

I sleep beneath the willow. I weep,

I need to walk to you, my feet break sticks and twigs

but each step leads away, away –


I hear them every day before

the sun blisters the sky before

I am filled in that enchanted hour with all that we were

it is a song I cannot know


bred in thistle, fed by frost, seeded by snow

but who could not be charmed by you? My

charming prince, eyes as blue as

summer skies, forget-me-nots, an August moon


The breeze lifts my hair, the air is stitched

with feathers and song. I am kissed just there.

Across the fields it follows me, your charm –

your footprints in the corn.

for PB August 2015

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About sophiewellstood

Teacher and writer, sometimes the other way around. Some of my writing is traditionally published and in bookshops, as well as online. I've put some poems for younger people / lapsed adults here, and some proper swearing. I hope you enjoy.
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One Response to Weird Birdy Things

  1. Amy says:

    Dear Lord, dear cuz. This is devastatingly perfect. Love you all such a lot. Amy x x x x x x

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