every day just before light

every day
just before light
Hope lands on my windowsill
her claws echoing on the lead

she – I think of her as she –
sidles up and down
staring at me or her reflection
until
with the light
I get out of bed
and move to the kitchen

she is usually there before me
her tapping accelerated
but somehow still controlled
like those times in a jazz club
when you air drum along
or get to the bar while it’s quiet

she moves swiftly away
when I open the window
then dove steps back
and explosively pecks
at the seeds I have scattered there

I don’t see her for the rest of the day
only in the morning
when I wait for her
every day
just before light

two weeks ago last Friday
she arrived with a friend
or a partner or mate
or an opportunistic passer-by
they seemed to share the food
quite fairly
and then they left together

the rest of the day
I sat in my chair
thinking of how our relationship
might develop
and underlining birdseed on my list

I did not see them again
until this morning
and then not her
but only her friend
who clattered on the sill
alone and ignoring
the seed piled up like sand dunes

I don’t know if she’ll stay
or if she’ll come back
every day
just before light

I think I’ll call her Hope

What did we do?

What did we do?

(the physical)
(the thoughtful)
(the spiritual)
(the self)

we saw through the sadness
joy
a single diamond in the silence

reflection connection direction
community solidarity

we saw who we are and the people we can be
we brought the different together
and we worked and we worked
and we did what we could for one another

simplicity clarity creativity
feeling healing

we understood as much as we could do
we did all the new that we could
we sensed the taste of the great outdoors
and we fell in love with the world

(the physical)
(the thoughtful)
(the spiritual)
(the self)

First published on the National Galleries of Scotland website December 2020

Idea, words and image by US.

What did we do? We wanted something good to come from 2020 so we:

  • asked friends and strangers for positive words from 2020
  • turned the words into an image
  • grouped the words into thoughts and
  • turned the thoughts into other words (the poem).

Thank you to every one who helped.

I fell while running

I fell while running, thinking of elsewhere, distracted.
Flies were heavy, slow and black.
Blood flicked as I waved them away.

I held the pain; it was mine.

Changing tack (this is how distraction manifests)
I know one day, elsewhere, your heart will break
as all hearts break.

Your pain will be yours
but not yours alone.
It will not break you; nothing can.

today the sun is shining

today the sun is shining
and today that is important

today the birds are singing
and today that is important

today there are children laughing
and today that is important

we never know when the world may fall
or our world may fall apart
but if there is sun and song and children laughing
I know there will always be hope

For Giò, 1959-2020