When we were young we shivered for the future and
The winters to come
They said we would never fly,
Our wings were not strong enough and
We knew nothing of the quiet strength a fragile bird has
So we sheltered
Created around ourselves an arena of leaves
Never expected to fly,
We left the safety of branches
For the icy Northern winds,
To be urban birds
At times we flew carelessly
We lost direction
We became weak
But you developed a talent
Beautiful as feathers
You sang your secret song
A small trill of steeliness and courage,
Out stretched your wings
The messages that flowed between your eyes and heart
Created perfect song
Of nature' s grace in
That may be uprooted by shoots and leaves,
The quiet strength and agility that noone sees
In different directions we flew
I have my nest and you made yours
Now you carry on
I hear your wings beating
Your shape disappearing, till it is tiny and formless
But your wings
Carrying memories and your gentleness
Into the light
A quiet dignity and gentleness that carries on, that we may hear
But only some may see
This is the picture you gave me. It always reminds me of a heart shape, but you said it was the pavement and the spiky bits are the things that grow around paving slabs. I think you meant how nature fights back against urbanisation, how the concrete, artificial world around us is not as strong as it seems. The picture reminds me a lot of how I remember you, that you had vulnerabilty mixed with strength, as many artists have.
Yesterday I heard about the passing of an old friend, Wayne. We spent a lot of time together in our early twenties, along with my dear pal, Emma. I don't remember a lot of what exactly we did. Having a laugh, lounging about, listening to music, watching Countdown, you know the stuff.
He was my bar friend when I worked in a pub, sitting with a pint of Guinness. We ate bangers and mash together. We sat in the local dingy nightspot. We both loved Charles Bukowski. He liked gin. He was scared of flying. We once spent Christmas together and I burnt the turkey. For a time, he lived down the road from me in a lovely house of a local character and artist, full of fascinating things, a place I loved to visit.
It is hard to imagine anyone's spirit ending. Call me daft, but personally I believe it never does. I think of the soul as a bird in flight sometimes. Birds are also often thought of as a symbol of immortality, which inspired the poem and to share the bird pictures. The beautiful bird pictures can be found at Big picture.
i thought twice about writing this and wondered if it would seem I was, 'oversharing.' Yet sometimes we need to write from the heart. Writing makes the heart a little lighter. Sometimes we need to wear our heart on our sleeve.
Wayne encouraged me to do my writing and in a funny way, he was one of the few peeople who believed in me when noone else did. These friends are truly priceless.
We both experienced anxiety problems and were able to talk and help each other at times. Sometimes people like this are viewed by society as 'weak.' They are actually the strongest, the have so much more to fight against.
Wayne was from a pit town in Yorkshire. Like me, he was from a working class background. In the nineties, for kids like us it wasn't a given that you went to uni. The fact that Wayne went to university to study art and created beautiful work and inspired and made those aroung laugh and love him is a testament to this strength.
We are all fragile and small at times but we are capable of great things. xxx