Blackbird

On a road sign I saw you

Perched with ruffled chest.

Nonchalant attitude, taking a rest

With minimal effort came our of your beak

As if throwing away sweet wrappers on city streets

The quietest, crispest, cleanest, most beautiful sound

That cut through the chatter in that pub ground

It melted my heart, called my attention,

To stare and listen with deep devotion.

One day… yes sorry its one of those stories always beginning with ‘One Day’ but humour me!
One day, one nice sunny day, I decided to go and treat myself to a meal out. Chris had just set off on his travels again and I was on my own. I am used to being in my own company and I have no problem taking myself off to a pub or restaurant for a meal by myself, well most of the time. I do like company, honest! However there are days – Like the ‘One Day’ I am telling you about, where no one is readily available and I decided it was my treat. It was indeed a lovely sunny day, I wanted to sit outside and have someone else cook for me.

So there I sat in the pub ground, soaking up the sunshine and eating delicious food, when I noticed a blackbird on the road sign. I have written stories before. Stories about personal experiences and thoughts about places I have visited. I suppose in a way I made up lots of stories in working with children, but I never consider it the serious business of writing. Then there is poetry. I have read them many times and had them force fed during my O’level days, but thoughts on writing in this way never entered my head, until the morning after the pub visit.

Suddenly they appeared in my imagination and danced there for a while. The invitation to grab hold and put them onto paper, before they disappeared was too great. Now you have it! The first poem I ever wrote. It has been moulded and shaped and polished, but most of it is what first appeared the morning after the evening in the pub ground.

Since then words seem to appear from no where and at unexpected times. If I do not write them down, they vanish as quickly as they come. I have learned to carry little note books, but even then these ephemeral little creatures are too quick for my memory. Sometimes I wait for them, carefully enticing them into expression and emotion and sometimes we spend many days walking together and then going our separate ways.

I have been back to the pub too and written more. I was once so lost in the world of a story, that I not realise someone was asking me if they minded them sharing my table. I jolted back into the real world with a bit of shock and perhaps seems a little flustered as I reorientated myself and  decided it was time to leave. It seems an inspirational place this pub.

Thank you so much to Paul Wood for letting me use one of his photographs to illustrate this poem.


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