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.
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