poem by Claire

The Bird and The Girl

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The Bird and The Girl

Wheeling, sweeping, diving,

Riding high. Enchanted swoon

Released on the breeze, over the sea.

And from this lofty sky high spies

A merry team of salt path pilgrims.

The smallest, a dancer, cart-wheeling

Free, careering she, flaxen-fair

Betwixt and between the man

And the other. Another cliff-climber.

Movements more studied, composed, serene,

Lost in thought, crowned a queen

With flames that lick and curl

And never go out.

And the man, now, the father

We see, as the bird sees, of one accord

With the sea’s breeze,

And hovers the bird, surveying the scene.

This Peter Pan, this spritely man,

Not guiding as such, not leading so much

As walking beside his daughters,

His friends, his right and his left.

His scene-stealing, free-wheeling,

Intelligent girls, bookish and beautiful.

The joyous voices of the unhurried three,

Buoyed up and along the same eddy and flow

As lifts and holds our feathered host.

Gliding now, flying beside the caper and gala,

Skimming the cliff’s edge, diving beyond

The thrift and squill, the stonecrop and wild thyme.

Riding the tang of the Pembrokeshire air.

O happy scene! That beckons us follow

The purposeful bird now, up and along

To a small ruined chapel, solid and squat,

Strong, still, heavy with ancient.

Westernmost church on this craggy shore.

And here, the bird alights.

And here, the mother, the wife,

The source of this life. A quiet fighter

With her own crown of flames.

Sitting, breathing in the three tiny, distant,

Moving dots. Heart and mind patient,

Cheeks pink and aching with

Broad and generous smile, eyes

Fixed on the dance and dart

Of her team of three as they pick and

Wind their way to the church.

And the bird and the girl know peace in this place.

Hear the waves as they ebb and flow,

The squall of the kittiwakes come and go,

The skitter and hum of her husband and daughters,

Beloved man and his slender comrades.

And her eyes remain fixed, contentedly waiting,

And her smile remains wide, sure and unwaning,

And the bird and the girl know peace in this place.

And her eyes remain fixed, contentedly waiting,
And her smile remains wide, sure and unwaning,
And the bird and the girl know peace in this place.
And the bird and the girl know peace in this place.

And the girl and the bird know peace in this place.