In awe

Second cascade of the day for the dverse majestic prompt.



Beneath the mountain, a round pebble I,

Cloud-mountains build their vastness overhead;

The falcon stoops, my land-locked heart takes flight.


The keystone of a soaring arch-ribbed vault

Looks down on me with pure and cold disdain;

Beneath the mountain, a round pebble I.


The darting swallow-specks that fill the sky

Fly where I cannot go, that blue realm where

Cloud-mountains build their vastness overhead.


Such grandeur mocks our proudest works, their vain

Pale imitation fails to move, yet when

The falcon stoops, my land-locked heart takes flight.

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.

33 thoughts on “In awe”

  1. I dig the spike of hope at the end.Yes, Nature creates beauty beyond mere art. As my Dad used to say at sunrise, “God, you done good.”

      1. It is against the law in some states (VA included) to shoot them, although people do and get away with it. Nope, we can never attain their grace or their ferocity.

      2. Most raptors are protected now after being mercilessly persecuted by farmers. Doesn’t stop some people shooting them as they shoot anything. I remember one of Prince Harry’s boyish pranks was shooting a red kite. Needless to say he was given a light tap on the royal wrist and told not to do it again.

      3. Yesterday a vid was posted on FaceBook of the Royals and a some guests at a private showing of some movie. They had popcorn. This toddler who was seated next to the heir was stealing popcorn out of his container while he was busy talking to a man seated next to him. Of course he discovered it and made cutesy faces at the child. I am always amazed how there just “happens” to be people with vid cameras to catch these moments. she says in a sarcastic tone.

  2. Your words do the majestic falcon’s flight justice. I feel as if we’re swooping along with him through your poem.

    1. Thanks Barry. All we can do is admire. Though some do get a thrill out of shooting them. Pure envy I suspect. I pinched a photo of a red kite but they have the same death-defying plunge.

    1. I had the good luck to see a great flock of red kites, thirty or so birds flying very slowly over our place. Quite scary really, they are so precise, and fixed on one thing—prey.

  3. True. We’re insignificant despite all our works and achievements when compared to the marvels of creation, but paradoxically it’s creation that inspires most of what we do. This is especially true for creative individuals.

    1. Creation is one form of fulfillment and of something ‘worthwhile’. Creative individuals aren’t necessarily any ‘better’ as human beings than the uncreative but courageous and generous people. Many great artists have been complete arseholes 🙂 It is a paradox. Our function on this planet is hard to work out.

      1. I hope you didn’t misunderstand me. I wasn’t saying that creative individuals are better than the rest. There are analytical and rational individuals who think differently, and I often envy them because they’re so grounded and don’t let flights of fancy take control of their essence. Regardless of what people say, I believe that both the mad scientist (Tesla) and the tortured artist (Gogh) exist. I’ll also say that being too creative or too logical can sometimes lead to madness and disorientation. Which is probably why a lot of great artists are complete arseholes. But then again, how do you live with a mind that’s always hypomanic (and in many ways self-indulgent) or one that sees everything as a theory that must be proved? It certainly is a paradox. I don’t know if our purpose is to work that out because I believe that purpose shouldn’t involve something too grand, but rather something something minimal that relates to an individual’s life, but I guess that’s where we agree to disagree.

      2. No, I didn’t think you were saying that creative people were ‘better’. But I do think we as a group tend to exalt their achievements as almost a counter-balance to the ugly things humanity does. I hear quite often so-called poets patting themselves on the back in self-righteousness, saying that we poets can change the world, our words are mightier than the missiles, all that from our comfortable, safe and unruffled middle class house in a safe untroubled country. They aren’t geniuses, I agree, and I’m with you that true genius is akin to madness. Some though, like Picasso managed to be genius, arsehole and successful businessmen at the same time. They are only human, but we do tend to give them demi-god status. Same for celebrities, whose genius I am more than doubtful about. They are asked to pontificate on social issues and enter political debate as though being glamorous and having loads of money lifts them to a higher sphere of understanding.
        Maybe it isn’t the artists themselves who we should be analysing, as they are only human like the rest of us, it’s our attitude to success in any form. It replaces our admiration of ‘goodness’ and they are not at all the same things.
        I’m not sure we disagree.

      3. I live in a country slowly progressing towards Fascism and brutal right-wing religious fundamentalism, and I believe that my country lacks poets who are strong enough to stand up. I myself have often cowed down because I’m afraid I’ll lose all privileges if I used anti-fascist rhetoric. Having said that, I agree when you say that poets on the internet pat themselves on the back way too often and are fuelled by delusion. In this age, almost anyone can start a blog and gather 1000 followers, and that sadly gives a lot of people a false sense of entitlement. But making it as a published poet is a totally different ballgame. It took me years before I managed to get 1 poem published, and I can empathise with poets who’re are actually trying to get their voices heard, rather than screaming into the blogosphere. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember you once telling me that you were published by a major publisher and that still didn’t make much of s difference. But my word of advice is to keep f***ing trying, and ignore the pseudo Demi-gods and the charlatans on the Internet. If you have something to say, and possess the skill to express yourself poetically, go for it. I’m doing the same, which is why, I quit WP and started a small blog where I post a few poems to a dedicated readership. I send the rest out to publishers hoping someone will tune in and say, “Okay, maybe I should give him a chance.” And yes, success should never mar character. Picasso can go to hell lol. And yeah, I guess we don’t disagree.

      4. That’s my gripe really, the self-satisfaction of people who aren’t doing much while others are getting killed. You’re right, if what you can do well is write, you should be doing it. I can’t do much else either. One day I’m going to be published by a serious publisher (the publisher I am with has been through a tough time and I don’t expect to get much exposure through them.) but it still won’t do anything for anyone but me. I hope your voice gets heard. I’m lucky to live in a democracy where the religious bigots get short shrift. Theocracy is the worst. I’ll be over to look at your poetry 🙂

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