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Poetry Magnum Opus



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A parliament of rooks complain

vociferously, tut-tutting like indignant counsellors

while their carrion cousins, irrepressible crows

swoop and dive like Spitfires: an unpopular

breed of bird, I know, but dashing fliers

with a delinquent sense of fun.

Stand and watch them on a winter's day.


I love the way, when grounded, they hop,

hoppity-hop, exactly like crotchety pensioners,

and then take off soaring into the sky,

with a kyaa kyaa, such a contemptuous cry,

and then they drop a little poop on your windscreen.

Bastards! You can't help but swear and admire

these rock'n'rollers of the avian world.


The broads are soggy

under grey December skies.

The grass rises in tufts and clumps

making for hard walking, making you

glad to be wearing your Wellies again,

with your old Army jacket, your corduroys,

that sense of being safe from the cold.


Tottle! (Aristotle), the setter comes to heel

with his sad, injurious, accusing eyes:

silly boy, that was never any bloody rabbit!

(And just how the hell would you know, sir?)

he says, clear as a bell, in doggy language,

and you give him a rough pat, but he shakes you off,

and lopes loosely, wonderfully across the field.


Dear old boy! Ten years since he was a tiny pup

out of Mirabelle, and she was one of those seven

tiny little things my sister and I … my sister!

Well, those were those days with the Commander

and my Mum, and holidays from that wretched school,

and as I trudge towards the sturdy old familiar house

I think of the warming dram, of the cold welcome.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Sorry for the dramatic display .. I was just playing around and I couldn't find a way to reduce the picture size, which I rather love. The picture, not the size! So I had to fool around with the print size instead. No harm done, I hope.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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David W. Parsley

A 'wandering free as a cloud' poem, Brendan. My only difficulty is with the shift in form of address and narration, but even that kind of advances the sense of meandering. Wry, damp, spontaneous, nostalgic - works nicely.


I am a big fan of "Wheat Field with Crows." It has fascinated me in print form since childhood. When the Van Gogh exhibit came through Los Angeles several years back, it was a thrill to encounter the masterpiece in person, hear the cry of birds echoing from behind the brush strokes. It inspired composition of my first poem in many years, starting me on my comeback. The painting's influence comes through in this piece with fine effect.


Thanks and Merry Christmas,

- Dave

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