Inspiration: “Let Birds Fly”

Here is the full text of Pemberton poet, Trish Belsham’s award-winning poem, Let Birds Fly.


Skirt hem scraping dips and folds into

The rough wooden floorboards

Open spacious barn, I circle palm

In hand to his velvet touch

Starlings swoop and scream high in the hole

To sky, where the roof peaks,

Making room for clouds to enter, curious.

I walk slowly now

Dragging my treasures behind me

Small nuts, gathered broken branches

And beetle carcasses, remnants

Of a dead forest salad on loaded plate

Hard to Mother’s floor

Swiftly passing, like my lover.

He steps lightly tween my dancing slippers

Hand pressed firmly to my back

Timely footsteps push blistering

Courtly rhythms scratched out of tune

Twining the shuffle of older shoe music.

We meet and list to a new candour

Cheek on cheek

Jacket and skirt flying out to the shredded walls,

Where light seeks our broken bodies

Winkled now

With fond memories

Printed on our fragile skins.

We snuggle warm in comfort

There for each other, sweet

Medicine for our coming demise.

Cradled in the lap of the big wood chair,

The dreamer awakes, birds fly

The mountains shake their wild hair

Breathing a love song

For the lake and the silent fresh air.

Trish Belsham


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