The blackbirds all were singing

For NaPoWriMo another poem with a refrain.


The blackbirds all were singing

Along the river where we’d meet

The words that you have left me, love

I wish could be so sweet.


I walk here, heavy-hearted,

In the early morning mist,

The words that you have left me, love,

Are crumpled in my fist.


Not one last look of tenderness,

For you stole away at night,

The words that you have left me, love,

I read at dawn’s first light.


The morning broke with birdsong,

It’s beauty falls upon deaf ears,

But the words that you have left me, love

Will echo through the years.

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.

27 thoughts on “The blackbirds all were singing”

  1. Could be a song!
    By the way: the painting by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer dates from 1663 and and can be seen at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

      1. Great observation, Jane, as Vermeer’s ‘magic blue’ has been a scientific mystery for ages. Restoration work has pointed out only recently that he applied a copper green layer first and then put the blue on top to create the effect.

  2. So bittersweet and beautiful. I love the echoes – you always chime echoes so well. I love Vermeer and had a wonderful time exploring the Vermeer museum in Delft when we visited a few years ago. I agree with David, about the Elizabethan feel to it.

  3. What a splendid poem … heartbreak is still alive I think even in our modern age of egoism … I love the classic feel this poem too.

    1. I like heartbreak much more than the lips on naked flesh and limbs entwined, chain me up and slap me scarlet etc etc type of poem. That’s more lust than love in my book.

      1. I have to agree with you … I’ve never been much into that sort of thing either … just doesn’t seem very poetic to me …

      2. Of course … and they’re all about the same … pretty boring … but perhaps it’s just me. I’ve always found that sort of poetry embarrassingly trite. I have tried once or twice to write “erotic” poetry .. but it just doesn’t work for me. Not my cup of tea – as they say.

      3. Yeah. Some of the stuff on twitter is pretty cringe-worthy. The women in the avatars are the black stillettos and suspender belt brigade but I bet they’re fat and middle aged and would rather have a plate of eclairs after lunch than a roll in the hay or a thrash around in the torture chamber.

      4. LOL … I just might sign up on twitter to see what I’m missing … I’ve got a feeling that a lot of this nonsense is more fantasy than anything else – and I’ve always been convinced that people don’t really go in for torture chambers – as victims anyway.

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