Friday, December 11, 2009

printed, Orion, wagtails

Posted by PicasaFlattened leaf with tyre imprint.
Grandson Josh sends me a poem called "If Only I could..." which he did recently for homework. It is about astronomy. "If only I could put a rocket in my pocket... " he begins and later
"...Help Orion chase the Great Bear,
Dodging our way
Through the defending stars..."
The last line is especially poignant because, a sturdy lad, he excels, apart from poetry, at rugby.
Standing in Calverley Precinct as the shop lights come on and it begins to get dark, I look up to see a flock of birds wheeling overhead. At first I think that they are starlings. Then I notice their long tails and distinctive swooping flight against the evening sky. And I remember a conversation on New Year's Eve two years ago when a neighbour told me that she used to see pied-wagtails roosting in the trees in Calverley Place. I have, from childhood, loved the way they swoop as they fly, as though from a consicious joy. But I had never thought until then of pied wagtails as sociable birds which gather in flocks. Now I can see them for myself.


alison wormald said...

I love your blog, which I found through Clare's 3 Beautiful Things. (And also the poetry blog with Lucy.I would like a copy of your grandson's poem. I thought he might like the images in my son, Harry's animation blog,, also on youtube.,
Clare has my email as I write to her from time to time. All the best

Lucy said...

I remember pied wagtails like that in Cheltenham town centre, especially at Christmas time; they seemed like living decorations in the pavement trees. My sister-in-law was astonished when she first saw them, and stood watching them in delight, that no one else seemed to notice them at all, but went about the grim business of Christmas shopping without once pausing or looking upward...

I do like your grandson's poem too, it sounds like the work of a robust and speedy boy!

Unknown said...

Hello, Alison. Here for you and other admirers is the complete poem:

If only I could
Put a rocket in my pocket.
Pluck the moon from the sky.
Sprinkle stars like sugar
Over my milky way pie.

If only I could
Help Orion chase the great bear,
Dodging our way
through the defending stars.

But when the sun comes up
I shrink so very very small
That I fit right back into bed
And the stars can't see me at all.

The Crow said...

Lovely isn't a good enough description of Josh's poem, which is a real delight.

This would make a fantastic illustrated children's story. I can see it becoming a favorite of little ones the world over.

Good work, Josh! Thanks to you and to Plutarch for sharing it with us here.


Lucas said...

I would like to join the voices of acclaim. Josh has written a finely chisseled poem full of startling images and the ending is a wonderful example of how bathos can succeed better than pathos.