It’s a funny thing ‘though not ha ha that the first’s repose is at Holland Park. There she sits, on her uppers, it’s the way she earns both their suppers. She asked of me, I could not grant… if I could have, I would have… a familiar chant.
A friendly nod, “never mind”, another comes in on the Central Line. A finger to nose she does tap and trills the legend: “mind the gap”. “One for sorrow, two, three, four, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told”.
It’s a tourmaline sky, lithium prism, crystal and quartz striae and the heat beats, and rubellite streaks… down. A golden blaze returns a haze and far underground…, a stirring, a rumble, a tremble; carriages lumber…; “will it thunder”? She nods her head; she smiles, coos and trebles above the chattering, clattering, teetering skips and hops and says: “look… that man’s wearing odd socks”! It’s a heavy day for the milling horde; “which way please, to Madam Tussauds’?'” For those who can’t manage an A-Z, she’s happy to tell them… it’s all in her head. A twenty pence piece from Mr. Rees; the nice Mrs. Glen buys a packet of ten for the many times they’ve missed that path, but what she’d give for a nice warm bath. She minds the night but has found a warm grating, away from the upstanding urinating. She smiles and takes the cellophane packaging; gives the ham to the cross, ignores the snipe (something about salt). She don’t give a toss.
This friend I make, would take but she knows a fragile state. “Here, sit,” says she; “wait while I get us a cup of tea. You might think the grass is greener, I tell you it can be meaner. Hang on in there to be free, not all sparrows live in the lea, not all sparrows are like me”. She hears our soles, bares our souls and says: “arse holes”.
It’s a funny thing ‘though not a lark, the second lives in our Country’s heart. There she stands at the Gothic creation, the boy wizard, its salvation, and her eye was in no way keener but you would see a look that might be mistook when she rooks the open sky. Turning keys in iron locks… she knows who will tick the right box. She hears our woe, she bares our lows and says “hey hoe”.
The last’s story is hard to tell; where to start when I know it well…? It was all to do with her young fledge, who had fallen from a very high ledge… and the great storm.
The wind had whipped up into a gale that night, cardboard flying high as kites and you’d dare not loiter anywhere; it hit hard in Berkeley Square. We saw her fluttering… heard her alarm and the distress she was uttering and she fought and those who tried could do no more so mother and fledge were left to their fate outside the back door and they said next morning as the day was dawning “how could we know… we could not foretell” ‘though the sky that morning had been quite red. Standing together, shaking our heads and as it is aft’ a storm, the sky was blue and the air stood still and there on the ground, wings wide-spread, a scene you would dread…, she and her young were both quite… dead, but… even if it be very dark, you’ll find a sparrow at Holland Park; expect a cheerful wave hallo and a smart: “I told you so…”
The Blackbird tells the story of “Sparrows Three” by Angeles Bean. Homelessness. Home is one element, birds as home builders. Another is the old adage: “birds of a feather…” or maybe she sees no such truism. For others, displaying two (a pair) promises a happy union and some will say that you should pick up a feather you find in your path for you may be holding your guardian angel. There are many such examples but for writers it is worth considering that birds in flight represent freedom; you are free to write anywhere, about anything even if you only have a quill pen.