Brassed Off Britannia

Brassed Off Britannia

For a moan about the state of Britain and the World

 

 

 

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 Post subject: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:18 pm
Posts: 3227
Location: Elgar country
BIRDS

The novice postman – wretch! – had failed to close my garden gate,
Inviting passing sheep (that graze the common land) to rotivate
My garden, to feast on flowers-to-be, to leave their steaming card.

With breath and anger steaming in the chill, I shut the gate – not hard
To do, my postie friend! – and, rushing to resume my busy day,
My mind not here-and-now but there-and-soon, I made my careless way
Across the terrace where I’ll bask in summer sun. But then I froze.

Not for the cold, nor yet for fear – at least not fear for self. There goes
Around the terrace flags a foot of earth, a precious strip of soil,
Where snowdrop, hebe, buttercup, and Vinca (periwinkle) coil
Their leaves and stems, if not their flowers. And in this plot some years ago
There set itself a willow of some sort, which I allowed to grow
Till now it’s tall as I, its summer leaves a mottled parasol
In August heat. But now it’s bare, a spray of sticks atop a bole
No thicker than my wrist. And yet this wintry skeleton serves the needs
Of birds, since from its arms hang feeders – peanuts, balls of fat, mixed seeds.
My avian guests – Tits Great and Blue, Long-tailed and Coal, and also those
Less agile, Sparrow, Robin, Wren – flee if approached……. today I froze.

Today, gate closed, I froze a yard or less from hanging balls of fat:
The creature feasting there did not take flight, he knew I was no cat.
Hooked on, not hovering, he pecked away, looked round, then pecked again and more;
Alert, he knew I watched; alive, perhaps he knew I watched in awe.
I held my breath, and still he did not leave; he was so brave, so small,
The smallest I have seen, a humming-bird, a dusky olive ball
With wings of black and white, a black cap too – but leave the best till last –
His golden crown, his orange stripe……it was his head that held me fast,
A vivid sunbeam on a sunless day, a brushstroke from the hand of God.

A Goldcrest, smallest of our birds, had been my guest; it wasn’t odd,
Just sad, when – sated, unalarmed – he flew off to resume his busy day
Of teaching humans where they stand. I stood a while, feet turned to clay,
All worldly rush and passion gone. I thought of Lawrence and the snake
That slaked its thirst at his Sicilian water-trough; of Hardy’s baby’s take
On fright that man alone inspires. I had been honoured by the trust
Of that one tiny hungry bird. Was I deserving? If so, only just.

Funny how one's day can change
Through what the auspices arrange.


Lawrence's snake: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poe ... snake.html
Hardy's baby: http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/10456/
"auspices": divination by bird-watching

I know that somewhere there is space for poetry - I'm just not au fait with that. Please forgive.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 6348
Its late at night but I'm sure I'll feel the same in the morning. I'm lost in admiration Senex.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:56 pm
Posts: 9404
Location: Lake District, England
Thank you, Senex. New to me and a real treat.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 1475
Location: Switzerland
Thank you Senex. For some inexplicable reason, I read 25th Feb 1913 as the title of the poem, and was expecting something leading up to the Great War or similar for that period, thus the content of the verse came as a surprise. I read it, engulfed in the beauty of the language, but also guilty of the sin of envy, how I wish I could write like that (I would also like to sing opera, but I digress!). I wish the poem could have gone on forever. I could "see" the little bird, "feel" the danger and his courage, but also shared the magical web into which the onlooker was drawn. I looked for the author's name, and then the penny dropped!

Thank you once again Senex.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:21 am
Posts: 3402
Location: Surrey
Thank you Senex, I enjoyed that.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:38 pm
Posts: 371
Location: Kent coast
Just lovely. Thank you SI.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:18 pm
Posts: 3227
Location: Elgar country
For kind words, my thanks to all - especially to La Grande Dame Suisse who mislaid her specs!

It's strange how such joyous experiences can demand beyond denial to be gift-wrapped and shared.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:38 pm
Posts: 371
Location: Kent coast
Can someone please tell me how I might copy/lift this beautiful poem so that I might retain it or share it with others ? It is too good to be left sitting in the Forum.

And, SI, I thank you again for the poem and would express my admiration of your modest response to the messages from other forum users.

This is a gem.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 1475
Location: Switzerland
Couldn't agree with you more Major! I had also thought I would like to share your poem with others Senex. It really is so beautiful!


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:56 pm
Posts: 9404
Location: Lake District, England
Major Upset wrote:
Can someone please tell me how I might copy/lift this beautiful poem so that I might retain it or share it with others ? It is too good to be left sitting in the Forum.

You can copy and paste it into any document you like - Word perhaps or an email.

Set your cursor at the start, hold down left click, scan to the bottom and release. Position the cursor over the blue filled text you've just blocked, right click and click 'copy'. Go to the target document where you want the text to start, right click and click 'paste'. Job done.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:56 pm
Posts: 9404
Location: Lake District, England
I'm a bit slow, ain't I? You wrote that, Senex! I can offer no higher praise than to say I wish I had.

Permission to set it in BOB Poetry please.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:18 pm
Posts: 3227
Location: Elgar country
Cumberland Cockney wrote:
Permission to set it in BOB Poetry please.

I'm a bit overwhelmed - thank you. Please feel free, one and all, to do with the poem as you will - my literary agent has no plans for it. But do remember that my words are clumsy things compared with the bird and the joy it gave.

You won't believe this, and I'm not sure I do myself. Today, at 3.00pm, the sun appeared - first time for ages. I went out to top up the aforesaid feeders, and loaded two new fat-balls into the device. I turned, picked up the canister of mixed seed.......... and already my Goldcrest was pecking away at the fat, still warm from my hand. This time I was barely a foot away, and moving, but he stayed till he'd had enough. It's weird. Why is a Goldcrest so trusting - or fearless? Even the Robin keeps his distance, though the Siskin is slow to abandon his beloved sunflower seeds.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:56 pm
Posts: 9404
Location: Lake District, England
https://sites.google.com/site/brassedof ... -iracundus

I've set it to left margin as above, but if you'd prefer it centred that can be done.
Check for errors.

G loved it!


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 6348
I hardly dare suggest there is one small error - second line, rotovate I think.


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 Post subject: Re: My Day - 25 Feb 2013
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:18 pm
Posts: 3227
Location: Elgar country
Hook Dangler wrote:
I hardly dare suggest there is one small error - second line, rotovate I think.

Damn. Never was any good with machinery. On the other hand ----

http://www.gardens4u.net/gpage1.html

--- which is not great authority. It's a made-up word. Each to his own in this case......


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