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Biladi (Philip Cockerham)


First she brought me a dragonfly

With crystal wings that fluttered in the breeze

So cold and squeezed of life

My eyes went up, my chin went down

I looked to see who knew


A host of plagues, a beetle and a flea

Some worms and slugs and leaves and twigs

I trailed a feather on a stick

And watched as nature grew her child

From lost and frail, to firm and sure

Who leaped and tumbled in our joy of living

One day a barely competent rat

Delivered neatly, wrapped under the mat

Its smile so charmed and peaceful, or so it seemed

By the bigger smile which crouched like mantled stone

We laughed, I ran to tell the house

And dined out in my mind for quite some time


A pair of tiny birds came next

But only one complete and whole

Some feathers, bone and claw

Some eyes that looked and stared and saw

Some little wings that never would be lifted by the spring


I never saw the real thing

Only the image of their tender grief, so huge

With them so small, their world so quick

And by the ending of that day complete

Mother Nature, her scheming plans and screaming ways

The humour of the Lord so cruel

Both making their mark again

While I grew strong in body and in mind

And she grew wise and nonchalant, and stayed

A matter never ever to discuss



        Philip Cockerham 2016




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