Swallows, Swifts


A friend writes
Here I am
Pumped with stuff
Which makes me wish
They’d just left the cancer
To do its death-thing.
And as I’m reading this
Swallows are having complex clicking chats
As though they’ll never die.
And I recall the mischief of this man
Not knowing whether to laugh or cry
But knowing they have given him four months,
And he ends his message with make the most of every day
Like, maybe, today Ravenna
Tomorrow Pollenca or skydiving.
Or just here, is it? Arundel,
And annual anxiety –
Will swallows come?
For swallows only come to happy homes.
The swift passage of life
Comes anyhow
Whether we distinguish or confuse
Symbols of joy, emblems of doom.
The calls of the mart
Let ordinary things go on in ordinary ways.
Haste’s shrill cadence mocks forth sons,
And its rush of dark past souls
Skim and hair raise,
But do not touch our ground,
Gone in four months,
Not caring if we make the most of every day.

By Henry Berry

a man in a hood stands in the background of the river with fog and flying swallows


Henry Berry lives in a rambling old house in the rural Vale of York, England. His writing focuses on external and interior, mental landscapes inspired by intimate contact with the countryside immediately around his home. His blog can be found at www.henryberry.blogspot.com/

Photo Copyright: marsipanes

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