Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

Swan song

There were swans flying over the motorway as huge as gliding jets.
Sudden reminder that nature belongs more than we do,
with our outlandish modes of transportation.
They flying ‘as the crow’ and us having to follow roads.
They seemed magnified, and out of scale
with the stuff that went below.
Thoughts of mating for life, swan song
come to mind
and leave me thinking even more
I am not for this world
I cannot glide.

Another starting point for a poem


freewriting in an attempt to get the flow going again

Key of Me

At ten years old I used to sing

and hit that C above top C.

My mother didn’t call up Richard and Judy

because they were still in school

and book clubs and over-night sensations not yet a twinkle in their eye.

Instead she sent me to a choir

where I sang ‘negro spirituals’

alongside ladies in A-line skirts and pastel sweaters.

All the men had beards,

or at least moustaches.

Because I could not sight read

I had to mouth the words until I’d caught the tune.

Then I would sing it loud and strong and close my eyes.

In the break they’d stop for tea and biscuits

talk about work or their fiancée,

sometimes smile and ask about my day at school,

but mostly I stayed quiet until we sang again.

We sang in German and Italian “Mi piacce re re.”

I don’t know what it means.

Soon I stopped and stayed at home

because it was lonely

standing between elbows,


I have not sung,

I do not sing,

beyond the in-the-bath type

or with-my-friends.

It often surprises and so embarrasses, when a big voice comes out,

so I have learned to keep it down,

sing in someone else’s key, not mine.

That’s much easier.

But this last year, I’ve started tuning up

and doing things in the key of me.

I find I cannot hit that note, I’ve lost the chance.

I should have used it while I could.

But I will find a new key, sing in that,

maybe find another way to shine.