Poem ‘The Sparrow’

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Aus...
English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Australia in March 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Sparrow

The sparrows are gone and now the winter is lonely.
Their spaces are taken by the gravelled drives
and the paved gardens. There will be no reprieve
but as the little bird leaves, like the wise man
deserts a fool, know that everything has its time
and that ours, too, is almost run.
The horse chestnut’s elephantine trunk glows warm
in the low winter sun, its clawing bareness stretches
into a cleansing sky. A narrow shaft of yellow light
dispels the rime on the whitened sward,
and the hanging orange globes of the passion flower,
like tiny suns, remind us of long gone warmth,
a hint of the approach of solstice day.
The lone robin stands guard, like a redcoat
patrolling his shed roof, punching way above his weight
to see off the bigger birds, those who would dare
plunder his own private space. He has nothing
but disdain for the squabbling starlings
who strut around in their shiny suits
in vain shows of bluster and pretence.
Even the cowslips thought it was spring.
Over keen, they showed their yellow hats
when the weather was mild and now they’re
caught out in a sudden arctic blast.
So too, the evergreen rosemary, whose lilac flowers,
though welcome, reveal the underlying unease
at the heart of the garden.
So we grew to like mowing the lawn, put up
with cutting the hedge. We let the poppies grow wild
and the elderflower rampage. We even learned
to love nettles and the funny little weeds –
but the sparrow never came back. They say he lives
in tiny enclaves now, in the fringes with red squirrels,
quite unknown in these parts, where the blackbird
chinks a meagre winter song.

poem © copyright df barker 2012

*first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available on amazon.com


Please also see this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_tc_2_0?rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3AMilly+Reynolds&keywords=Milly+Reynolds&ie=UTF8&qid=1338013925&sr=1-2-ent&field-contributor_id=B0056IY4OE

29 thoughts on “Poem ‘The Sparrow’

  1. Hi,
    Excellent, I loved how you wrote this poem. I thought it was great how you introduced the other animals in this as well. 🙂


  2. David, I find your poems like tapestries: richly woven with deep and delicate colours providing an undulating movement through the lines. As I read I am moved by the rhythmic quality of your poetry, even when there is no obvious rhyme. 🙂


  3. This is just downright lovely. Such a great joy to read and re-read.Like a moreish dish, I want to keep coming back for another taste. The first I’ve read this morning, I shall do well to find another as agreeable.


  4. So we grew to like mowing the lawn, put up
    with cutting the hedge. We let the poppies grow wild
    and the elderflower rampage. We even learned
    to love nettles and the funny little weeds –
    but the sparrow never came back…

    we should be never be content with it..should we…? i will always fight hard for the sparrows to come back… i’d die without them… great metaphor..


  5. Very beautiful poem on sparrow, for a long time I haven’t seen sparrow here in our place only crows, magpie and hawk are in large numbers. Missing them. Other poems are equally very good.


  6. you wove the season together with such visual threads….
    I felt the threads weaving a beautiful piece of art…
    I love it David..!
    Take Care…


  7. Hi David, lovely and sad, I hope the sparrows will return. ( here they have miraculously ! They are now eating from the terrace tables in the streets lol )


  8. David, another wonderful poem – I love sparrows, but don’t see many of them here either these days. The bluejays and crows seem to have taken over….
    (I’m just getting caught up here again and enjoying the rich imagery in ALL of your poetry.)


  9. How very wonderful to remind us, DF, about the Southern Hemisphere now entering winter. You had me remembering so many plants and birds I enjoyed in late November/early December here in Northwest Alabama in the U.S. Very wonderful celebration of earth’s joys–even with the wistful missing of that sparrow!


  10. Quite splendid descriptions here…I love your use of very unique but always clear imagery, the visuals your words create stunning. This is among my all time favorites of yours, David!


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