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Love’s Troublesome Journey - sample

Explores by implication (and obliquely, at that) the eternal questions about love.

It is trouble, and not marriage or bliss, that is love’s true companion. Defending this weary thesis the author contradicts himself over and over. That’s what happens when you think too much about love. Poetry’s cruel and mad muse exposed.

It has been pointed out to the author that this collection might reveal him to be a different sort of guy from what he fancies himself to be. As the consequences are unlikely to be more than a kicking, he’s going to go with the risk.

between birds

I noticed the way you pecked and preened and how your pensive face was transformed by a sudden brightness in the eye which gave the impression of intellectual depth and light-heartedness. I like that in a bird.

Somebody telt me that you were somebody else’s bird. But every bird is somebody else’s bird until they’re no. You do your dance and take a chance and then wait to see where the eggs sit.

You thought my hop gallus. My pied-grey tail fan coloured like our country you accepted as camouflage, perhaps humouring me. You liked how I swooped on you like a hawk, that I was born to be your squadron leader. Now, according to our traditions, I show you my nest.

However, my previous bird finding the cheep and gaudy feathers of some passing continental more to her liking had spitefully wrecked it before shooting off into the storm of her own making with Mr Fancy Feathers. Shot on the wing I heard; no, I didn’t, but I hoped.

Having no cosy den in which to rest our feathers after our displays and exhausted by flitting from perch to unsuitable perch you flew off to forage for building materials promising that your compass was set to return you to me.

You returned with twigs and made busy. But something in the thinness of your smile told me that in your bird brain you were thinking of a different nest than this. Come autumn you’d leave for warmer climes and I’d overwinter alone. Again. I did not believe myself.

But it was so. Hedgechatter confirmed a distant warble, other nests, other eggs. The child we could have had living only in regret or relief. Perhaps in the end a cruel kindness. Our shared liking of the big sky, the pink blush on a cloud’s bottom, the leafy bower,

are nothing sort of sharings. And so, I stretch my wings and make long flights alone. Patrolling my margins, scanning the sky for whatever’s out there. Hopeful about the speck near where the horizon cracks open and orange light pours through.

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