Friday, January 1, 2016


Philip dodd


Green owl I have never seen
for such a bird has never been,
listen yet to my true word,
a bunch of leaves on a tree
shifted to form an owl
with eyes and feathers green,
so wild in my garden tame,
watched through my window,
soft, low, I heard it hoot your name.
To maps of lands that never were,
that never could be,
to other worlds, strange kingdoms
green owl clutched the key,
will remain the lure
to reach your longed for shore.


A ship slips from harbour
with no captain or crew on board.
It seems in dreams,
the heart has no shelter,
the soul cannot be shored.

A church stands with no bell,
its priest wears white but serves no lord.
It seems in dreams
no reason is given,
conclusions are obscured.

Wind wake, spirit stir.
Cathedral builds in the air,
I think of it and I am there.
In the nave, I light a candle,
my mind on your name,
my prayer flickers with the flame.

Stone angel blows his horn
above the balcony,
clear as the organ pipes,
seems to say to me:
We know there are hearts to heal,
there are souls to save.
The sea is deep and wide,
but we watch every wave.

Later, I leave the cathedral.
Behind me, the candle I lit for you,
unmelted, glows in the nave.


We are late, late in our going,
the last flocks of the geese
seem to say in the sky,
but maybe we will be
early in our returning,
they call as they fly away,
leaving us with the crow and the sparrow,
the robin to sit on
the cold, bare branches of winter,
and we forget about the geese,
until we hear them returning in spring,
would that I were a bird
first learning to sing.
Philip Dodd

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