Alexander Averin

Friday, 27 August 2010


Just a poem today.

Migration/Safe Home

I am often kneeling, not exactly praying
but usually dreamily weeding,
revelling in the sometimes rare delights
of another British summer
but I always 'sense' you are coming;
just minutes before you arrive
I get one of my 'flashes', it is always a thrill.
Then you swoop in succession, one by one,
over the river, into the garden
making straight for the cottage eaves.

Late in August someone said you'd gone,
they saw you all lined up, prepared to fly.

Please don’t let it be so.
I didn’t see you. Could they have been wrong?
It is too soon.

Did you leave while I was sleeping,
away from home or simply unaware?
Were you lured away like I sometimes am,
by the call of a moon?
(Do you also have affinity with stars
or was a new love dawning?)
Was it second sight, by the signs of a storm
by the fall of a leaf, or a magnetic pull
from our own Mother Earth?
Was it by whispered warning, fear of flood
or tempest, hurricane or some such tortuous weather?
Whatever it was my heart and head are hurting
as I am left alone now and never got the chance to say
‘Safe Home.‘.

I lie, bereft now, looking out on vacant nests
containing only ghost-like memories of love and sound
under quietitude and lonely, empty eaves.
You and your new broods have fled together,
heading back to somewhere vast and unbeknown to me,
to a place that must be warmer, wider and more welcoming.
Off, in high tumultuous clouds across the wildest oceans
on such precious, fragile, tiny wings you fly.
Far, far away into the hinterland.

Cait O'Connor

 Safe Home


Fennie said...

Lovely, Cait,

Swallows hunt on spitfire wings along the alleyways of dawn.

Yes they've had a tough old time recently. Doesn't a bird get wet flying in rain?

mollygolver said...

The words are beautiful Cait. A poignant time of the year!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Beautifully written.
I, too, miss the swallows when summer comes to its end. I miss their entertaining flight around me while I mow the grass and their chittering about.

elizabethm said...

Ah Cait, our swallows were still swooping today although I have been ready for them to go for days now. I say ready although I am never ready. Always I miss them when they go. Perfect poem.

CAMILLA said...

Oh Cait, what a truly beautiful poem.!

I love to watch the birds, many nesting here again this year, all gone apart from Miss Pidgy still nesting on her eggs for the second time. Mother Pidgeon had two chicks a few weeks ago, now she is back again. I love to hear her fly into the nest near to the front of the cottage windows above the porch of foliage.


ds said...

Beautiful; thank you.

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...


Nan said...

I so love this. I especially love 'often, kneeling, not exactly praying' and 'as I am left alone now and never got the chance to say, Safe Home' and 'precious fragile tiny wings.' Oh, Cait, such words.

jane said...

Cait such a moving poem - I to wish all the migratory birds Safe Home - their routes take them over and through such hostile territories - where they may come to harm from trappers and guns - god speed and please make a safe return

Posie Rosie said...

Lovely poem Cait, it never ceases to amaze me the distances they travel and their time keeping, always arriving and leaving at the same time each year.

Vee said...

Cait, that is so beautiful...have you ever researched where they go? I always wondered about the loons and was amazed where they go after spending summers calling on the lakes. I imagine that you'd be equally amazed to learn where your swallows go.