24 March 2016

The Magpie - my king is a bird

The wind blows and I watch you
make your way up a young tree
with trunk and branches so thin
that you circle and hover
like a feathered pole dancer
dressed in iridescent green.
Such elegance, such zeal.

You shimmy delicately 
down an old cracked tiled roof,
sashay skilfully around 
the iron chimney stack,
not a speck of rust allowed 
to sully that sleek white vest.
So accomplished, so smart.

Here in this April garden
you hunt to feed your babies
that your chicks may grow strong
and leave the large domed nest,  
spreading their short dusty wings,
ready for both fight and play.
So dutiful, so benign.

May approaches, and you fly
over green fields and wide fen,
taking fruit from an orchard,
grumbling and chattering,
stealing eggs and attacking
featherless late born chicks.
So shocking, and so sly.

You push through the privet hedge
into the soft green meadow,
your brood, scared of neither cat
nor fox, knowing safety lies
in your knife-like slender beak
and your apotropaic eyes.
So much power, so much trust.

You stand here now, still and proud,
the monochrome defender
of my ancient wild garden
where, tho’ hounded and hated
by some, you are made welcome,
monarch in all your glory.

23 March 2016

Each day is Easter Day

Where snowdrops and daffodils rested silent
beneath roofs of ice and warm blankets of snow,
witch hazel now blooms, its dry leafless branches 
clothed with flowers of yellow, gold and red,
their long ragged petals like shredded dandelions.
Along the cold shore's edge late white hellebores
turn their faces towards the promised new sun,
high on the cliff herring gulls build their new nests
crying to the wind as they wait for the dance.

On a green hill not so very far away,
his life's circle broken, his earthly work done,
a dying man hangs from a cross, as thunder
roars and lightning flashes across the dark sky
Red tulips lie crushed at the foot of the cross
like pools of blood on an old carpet of death.
But as our lord's spirit returns to his God,
life rises again this first Easter morning,
rejoins the circle, and continues the dance.

Each hallowed life is a precious gift offered
by a loving and compassionate Father,
he who choreographs the eternal circle
wherein we may now find our resurrection.
Every whispering flower, every singing bird,
each wave that gently kisses the golden sand
makes sweet music to accompany the dance,
for life is our circle, the circle our dance,
each day is Easter Day, and the dance goes on.