Books Magazine

Gentleman's Delight

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
I retired in 2010. Retired- such an awful word. My daughters, big Dr Who fans said, “Daddy you haven’t retired- you have regenerated”. I’ve always gone for that. Everything about being retired/regenerated is wonderful. One of its greatest delights I recognised straight away and it forms the subject matter of this poem, a poem it has taken twelve years to complete. The imagery of the circus presented itself fairly quickly but on closer observation the upside down opposite world was somehow obvious as if the bird world was saying - there is more to us than meets the eye. I scribbled page after page of notes as you do but got nowhere. It was only when I stumbled on the idea of the Edwardian gentleman doing the watching as he drunk his morning coffee that it fell into place.Gentleman's Delight
Gentleman’s Delight
I was sitting on the terrace drinking morning coffee
when Spring arrived, blown in on a fair wind
bringing the circus of birds back to the garden.
A topsy turvy spectacle beneath the big top blue sky,
don’t expect robin red breast to be the ring master,
as he scurries in the undergrowth.
It’s left to the blackbird looking like a dullard,
who is anything but, to herald and open events,
perching on the fence top, singing in full and glorious voice.
Harlequin finches hang in twos and fours
far too serious to make spectators laugh,
gobbling down sunflower seeds like no tomorrow
If you want laughter watch the silver winged starlings
with their punk rock tufts swarming in on scatterings
screeching, squabbling and scrapping with each other.
Deep in the flower bed a tiger striped cat crouches
while bullet fast tits zoom in and out of nest boxes
proving that the wing is faster than the claw.
I stand and stroll to the conservatory for lunch,
delighted that there will be a daily show until they leave,
heading for their winter quarters.
Gentleman's Delight
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