Grey wind

This is a mystery photo my camera took without asking.


There are cracked notes in the wind’s song,

broken the wing of the bird,

and against the bridge, the waves break oily grey.

The hopeless huddle in the park

beneath the ornamental trees.

Leaves fall and drift, brown and limp

to the damp earth, where shreds of summer wings,

once butterfly, sink,

hues fading to the colour of rain.

A child with expensive hair and new clothes

kicks a can down the street,

shrugs off the question,

No school?

with a knowing smirk,

hooks thumbs in his belt,

What for?

School cannot teach him how to be a man,

a man needs only fists, not brains,

to bend and break the world to his designs.

The rain falls,

and the wind, with a catch in its voice,

sweeps all before it,

childhood, dreams of summer wings,

even the robin’s song.

What now? we ask,

but the wind, whistling now in a tin can,

gives no answer.


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.

13 thoughts on “Grey wind”

  1. Haunting, Jane. I love this:
    “and the wind, with a catch in its voice,/ sweeps all before it,/ childhood, dreams of summer wings, /even the robin’s song.”

    Your camera takes interesting photos on its own. 🙂

    1. I wrote it in my head while I was walking this morning. It was cold and grey and damp, and I met one of the Bulgarian kids I say hello to, outside the supermarket when he should have been at school. It’s not the first time either. His family don’t think it matters. Makes me furious though.

      1. There’s a whole extended family of them and one of the boys and his little sister seem bright. The little girl goes to school and likes it, but then she’s a girl and they don’t expect much from her. The men work on the markets or on building sites. The women have babies.

  2. The entire premise and then the last two lines. Perfection. I loved the idea of the photo being taken, a mystery, and then the sounds in the poem – you have a way of pulling us all the way into your imagination until we are standing there with you, that’s the impact of your craft. Just beautiful my friend.

    1. I wondered if you’d like this one. The photo disturbed me a little, just popping up like that, then the walk this morning made me think how well it fitted my thoughts. I hate this weather.

      1. You mold things you hate into words that others can love, how great is that? Oh poetess, I wonder if you will ever realize how much of a poet you really are? I hope so. I’m going to keep nagging 🙂 I also meant to say I really liked the title but I’m sure you know me well enough to know I would. BTW sent you an email today hope I got your email right, letting you know Finishing Line Press are publishing one of my books and I’d love to have your address to send you a promo etc. Anyway hope you got the email and that the weather will cheer up soon. Just know that there is something horribly unnatural about November at 85F so anything other than that, at least has a season. (and permits walking whereas here, it is really still too hot to walk) xo BIG HUG

      2. Oh you know why? I had your email wrong. I was sending it to the submissions thing on your website (durr) I will re-send.

      3. Yes I know I don’t think they always do, but I just sent you one with the addy you gave me hopefully better luck with that xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s