Merril’s poem yesterday reminded me that I haven’t used this image in a while. Today is my birthday and I am planning on being a spark.



When we dig beneath the fallen leaves,

brown in the incessant rain,

and there is only cold earth,

and overhead there is no sky,

just the sodden stuffing of a burst mattress,

when the cold is, and the rain is,

and nothing comes to fill the outstretched hand,

no joy, no timid, whisker-twitching hope,

we shrink, tempted by the swollen river

and its powerful embrace.

Every day, dull as ditch water,

chill and bleak, I give thanks

that there are always the birds,

cold, hungry, watchful,

dancing like sparks

from the furnace of the universe.

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.

40 thoughts on “Sparks”

  1. Happy Birthday! (Of course we both have December birthdays; mine is Sunday.) It’s soggy, sodden weather here, too, and getting colder. You are definitely a spark, and I hope you see and hear birds today and dancing stars fill your dreams.

    1. Thank you for the wishes! It was atrocious this morning (sun’s out now surprisingly because according to the hour by hour weather report we’re in the middle of a storm…) but there was a thrush singing through the rain πŸ™‚

  2. Beautiful poem, Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you.

  3. Yes, thanks for birds and particularly your brave thrush. I hope it’s been a good day despite the weather. Here it is a milder version of the same thing. Happy Birthday!

  4. Another one I missed in the hectic run-up to Christmas. I’m glad I saved it and read it today, Christmas day, and so re-cast it into your seasonal gift to me, a message of hope and a call to relience in December’s dark days. I trust your birthday was all that you hoped it would be, and that your spark continues to shed light on the universe in the year ahead.

    1. I’m pleased you liked this one and please consider it a gift. After gales, rain and flooding, today is calm, mild and sunny. Almost peaceful except for the inevitable mindless bloke with a gun just over the hedge. I would like to shed fire and brimstone over some people… I hope you day has been all you wanted it to be. I’ve enjoyed today because we dispensed with the presents, the daft food (we had fried potatoes with garlic for lunch with a bowl of salad followed by a vegan Christmas pudding) and merry making and have just had a good time together. The birds seem to have enjoyed it too.

      1. Ours was good too, thank you, time to chat and to laugh with family. And as a Christmas treat we gave our rabbit – Attila the Bun 🐰 – some sprouts, so everyone was happy!

      2. I wondered for a moment if you were going to add…and then we ate him. Glad you didn’t πŸ™‚ Weather had got crisp this morning after a clear night and as cold as I tolerate from winter (ie about 12Β°C first thing). Only another day of the three visitors to go…

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