Windsong and a stranger


He stands with his back to the bustling city
Facing the woods of the farther bank.
His gaze sweeps the river,
gathering wave glitter
hoarding the bird silver scattered like foam.
He stands feet apart
Eyes piercing the sunlight
While gulls skim and swifts scream
Over bright dancing water.
His head tilts to listen
To the wind in the poplars
That carries the smell and the song of the sea.
Stranger, yet so like, we see with the same eyes
Hear the same words in the wind from the sea.
We stand without speaking in the shade of the alders
Sharing the gulls and the shivering sedge,
The movement of shadows on bright moving water,
Birdsong that falls from the shimmering leaves.
Behind us the crowds pass, the cars on the highway,
The chattering voices of those who don’t see.
He turns and he smiles, and the light in his eyes
Is the sun and the sky and the pearly cloud.
The dull streets are brighter in their reflection,
For the sharing of beauty, the words of a song,
The silver-shot ripples, the green shoots of spring
And a stranger’s pure joy in the curve of a wing.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

5 thoughts on “Windsong and a stranger”

    1. I thought this man deserved a poem. He’s someone I see occasionally. We struck up an acquaintance when we found ourselves standing for about a quarter of an hour watching a pair of cormorants fishing. He often makes time to just come down to the river and watch it, whatever it’s doing.

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