Grey doves

Photo ©Doug Lee


Grey doves sit,

dove-tailed in the birch,

slender branches bent beneath bird weight.

Together, always,

they perch

entwined beneath the rain,

while leaves fall,

and the wind blows higher,

singing their gentle song.

I listen,

a little humbled,

a little awed,

like an accidental eavesdropper

on a lovers’ tryst.

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.

34 thoughts on “Grey doves”

  1. Those last two lines. Good grief.
    You made a lovely poem into something that captures the very connection between us and nature and our thoughts as the birds brace against weather.
    A superb series of observations tied into a perfect ribbon.
    Brava lady!

    1. Thank you! I love these birds. In fact, there are lots of birds that form couples for life, animals too. When their mate dies they never take another partner. Blackbirds on the contrary (which I also love) are much more like people—form couples for life (in theory) but also have extra-martital affairs, divorce and remarry. Maybe it’s from hanging around human beings too much.

      1. Naughty blackbirds! I shall never look at them the same again! Defilers of my notions of monogamy ! 😉 Penguins I believe are still in the safe zone so I shall be a penguin. I love those birds also and you did the picture credit my friend

      2. ha ha ha! Penguins yes they don’t quite fit anywhere! Blackbirds makes me think of a Kate Bush song, now I’m going to have to hunt it down. She sang three Irish songs in Irish btw I wish I could locate them and send you them.

      3. Jane out-cooled Candy in one fair swoop of win and Candy spent the rest of the day wondering if … if … Kate had ever done something with Bowie … alas no what was she thinking? I like Kooks and that entire LP the best out of his work.

      4. I think it’s when you compare what he was doing thirty/forty years ago with the junk that passes for ‘original’ nowadays, that it hits you—the golden age of rock is over.

      5. Oh lord yes, he was beyond his time and the stuff they think is good now is a joke – definitely true nothing done now has a patch on the old stuff. gone gone gone mostly because people don’t really know how to be musicians anymore they all did

      6. I listen to mine singing pop songs and they are absolutely tuneless. I don’t know how they manage to remember enough of a tune to sing at all. And don’t get me on rap. Shouting music. All on the same angry register.

      7. I’ve just been to look. WP didn’t send a notification today, don’t know why. It’s an absolutely splendid poem, paints a picture like an illustration from a children’s book from the 1930s 🙂

      8. If there is any good in it, then it is from you my friend, you inspired me to write it as you have quite a number of things and you always do that for others, you’re a cauldron of good ideas and I value your support and creativity.

      9. And I value your unflagging enthusiasm 🙂 I’d like to be read, to be popular, a best seller why not? God knows we could do with the money. But failing any of that, to have the consideration of people I admire will have to do 🙂

      10. Truth is, you should never (none of us should) feel it’s egocentric to wish to be read, or be popular, because whilst not always true – popularity often conveys an impression of success and ability (many who are not popular are just as good) and what’s wrong with working hard and getting something for that work? I’m sure we should apologize for this less and wish it more, though mindful of our ability irrespective.

      11. I hear of so many writers being able to give up the day job and earn a living writing that I wonder why I can’t, given that my idea of earning a living corresponds to most people’s idea of scraping along the ocean bed.

      12. Well as many as we hear who are able to do that, think of how many vainly try to. I believe those we hear of are the tip of the iceburg, with more beneath water, unable to achieve this through no flaw in their writing but the sheer glut of writers out there. It is likely the majority of those who sustain themselves, either came from money and thus, could ‘afford’ to sustain themselves before their art paid off, and/or are networked/plugged in to the right group of people who as we know, publish one another and pat one another on the back. Then there are the exceptions, the true raw talent plucked out of the ether once in while. They’re the ones I admire most, but they’re luck and light as much as anything, much like winning a lotto. I’d also say those who look good (female/sexist) those who are young (ditto) those who are fashionable (we’ve discussed this) and those who wrote of the moment, are more likely to have their 15 minutes and often it is just that. The sheer volume of people makes it hard, nigh impossible but that is no reason ever to give up because most artists of any kind do not see commercial success immediately or even in their lifetime. It is worth while doing this because it is who you are no less than that.

      13. ha ha ha! You’re so funny and right! I do agree. It’s wretched being a creative genius at times I know but then again … you’d miss it sorely if you were say, a brick layer, I assure you. (Not bashing brick layers you understand)

  2. Hey Jane, (long time, I know) that’s a great poem. I agree, those last two lines, really the last 5, are just beautiful. If your up for some critique, I have a few suggestions for that middle area. To keep it short, I’m just going to post my idea:

    slender branches bent
    beneath bird weight.
    Coupled together,
    they perch entwined
    under the rain
    while autumn leaves fall.
    The wind carries higher
    their gentle singing song.

    That was just my thought. You might have been going for something different (and I might just still be in college critique mode) so feel free to ignore anything I said beyond the first two lines (and obviously this last one, because if you ignore my permission to ignore, well, that would just be rude, right? (ok, I think I have overstayed my welcome :D))

    1. I like critique! Thank you. You’re right about the fuzziness in the middle. It isn’t entirely clear (punctuation maybe?) that I didn’t attach the wind and the song, just had the contrast between the falling leaves and the rising wind, then the phrase rather falls apart. I’ll have a tinker around with it. I wouldn’t use ‘coupled together’ though. It’s a bit basic in its connotations, you know?

    2. Is this better?
      Grey doves sit,
      dove-tailed in the birch,
      slender branches bent beneath bird weight.
      Together they perch
      beneath the rain,
      while leaves fall,
      and the wind blows higher,
      ever entwined,
      singing their gentle song.
      I listen,
      a little humbled,
      a little awed,
      like an accidental eavesdropper
      on a lovers’ tryst.

    1. Thank you 🙂 The more I watch these peaceful birds and the way they stick together, either collecting stuff (they always seem to be collecting stuff) or just sitting snuggled up side by side, I think how badly we fare in comparison.

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