Monday, 27 October 2014

I always dreamt of flight

In an immediate sense I have my mother to thank for the inspiration for the poem below. It was her mention of the theme "flight" for a poetry group that set me to thinking about different meanings of the word flight and putting pen to paper (or more accurately cursor to screen) to create this.

I am sure she won't mind me saying though, that beyond that initial word, the real inspiration for this comes from my contact with my students at St Chad's Sanctuary: people who, have known the worst nightmares of flight, but who, I hope, can still dream of soaring with the birds. Once again, I trust that they will excuse my attempts to speak of an experience I can not begin to imagine.

I always dreamt of flight

On grass, or concrete, or sandy beach
Against the solid ground beneath
Eyes open
Squinting from the sun
Or closed
Turned inwards on a dream
I always dreamt of flight

I knew
That I could soar and circle with the birds
And drift like wispy clouds
Across a bright blue sky

In childhood games of fantasy
Gazing skywards
Dreaming of infinity
If I could ask
A granted wish of just one thing
My chosen super power
I would not hesitate
I always dreamt of flight

I knew
That I would swoop and swerve and dive
And glide with silent majesty
Across a deep blue sky

And as I grew
I knew
Never would I soar and circle
Like the birds
Nor swoop and swerve and dive
But Still
Alone in quiet moments
Looking up
To the endless realm of skies
I sometimes dreamt
Of flight

To drift like wispy clouds
And glide with silent majesty
To hide from this reality
In an infinity of blue

As skies flare red
And thick black smoke
The fragile wings of birds
Their hallowed, haunting song
By metal monsters
Who hum a tune of

The longed-for, dreamt-of, promised
In the urgency of anguish
Amid the acrid fear which clings
With unforgiving tenacity
To bloodied feet 
And to hidden memories

No soaring wings or deep blue skies
In this my flight
Which did not match
The patterns 
which not so very long ago
Had swirled before 
My childish eyes

No swooping free, no swirling dives
No soaring, circling paradise
No hiding
From this
The harsh reality of our lives

This childhood dream
Which found a strange fulfilment
In a living nightmare
As huddled, shivering,
I cannot help but wonder
Is this some kind of irony?

I had always dreamt of flight

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