A thrush, the first bird


The restless, storm-tossed night was long,

dark filled with wave-hiss, snapping boughs,

a ship moored in a sea-rocked berth.


No stars, a heavy quilt of cloud

pressed down, oppressed the swaying trees,

the restless storm-tossed night was long.


When rage along the river swept,

storm carried north across the hills,

dark filled with wave-hiss, snapping boughs,


a thrush, the first bird, broke the calm,

a rush of song sailed through the dawn,

a ship rocked in a sheltered berth.

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 “A thrush, the first bird”

      1. No real storms as yet but torrential rain early hours this morning. Hubby had a dry window and walked Ruby and got home just in time. Now we have invisible rain, the type that soaks you through. It smells and feels beautifully fresh 💜

      2. It’s good for the plants and fills the water table up. It’s managing to throw ferocious tantrums here without any rain falling to speak of. Not fair.

  1. You truly summon such placidity with your words. I can never help but sound a bit wounded, and even though sadness is always an element of the creative, you don’t inspire hurting, but healing, which is the acknowledgement of pain and the beyondness of it.
    Also, how do you conjure such beautiful images everyday, sometimes more than once a day? It’s a wonder indeed.

    1. Until I was 18 I lived in the countryside and took it for granted. Since then, I’ve moved from city to city, lived in Manchester, London, Paris, Bordeaux and only realised that what I really wanted was to get back to the peace and quiet of a natural environment. I write with meadows and trees as the only views from the windows and I’m trying to be aware of the minutiae of life as well as the obvious things. There’s sadness though all the time, death and endings, but you can’t have life without death.

      1. I was born near the pear orchards of Montejunto, which is now a protected landscape; I was there until 17, when I got into Law School and moved to Lisbon. I had a blast in the city, truly, I found things I never thought would exist, dimensions of being that I couldn’t conceive of, but I never belonged. It’s not in me, the rumble, the permanence, the urgency. I’m a person of balance and I need to be bitten by my own thoughts, once in a while, or I just start eating myself up. After Law School, I moved about midway to Lisbon and my birthplace, a small town that is as much country as it is city, and I feel home, which I’m incredibly lucky for.
        Your poetry still gives me such warm memories of my growth and becoming; you were a priceless find.

      2. If you feel you have found home, you are lucky. I wonder if so much of the frantic shopping culture is a search that never ends with a finding, because we don’t know what to look for. I feel at ease here, and protective. That creates its own tensions, but I think anger focalised is better than aimless floundering. I’m glad you find something in what I write. It must be because you and I are looking for similar things.

      3. I am, but I’m unsure of the luckiness of tomorrow. I might just wake up and, suddenly, this is no longer a place for me, or I’m not for it. I’m known to be restless, which is why I’m so enamored by serenity. We are magnetised by the questions we keep asking ourselves.

  2. This is a fantastic journey through a storm. Everything is loose, dark; everything is threatened. Then there’s the thrush and day, and now the ship is sheltered. Tolkien favored the thrush. Now I understand.

    1. They are wonderful birds. I love blackbirds (their cousins) because they are so lovably mad and their song is beautiful, but thrushes are indomitable. They sing all year round, whatever the weather, and they attack anyone who goes near their nest, and that includes people. Brave and beautiful birds.

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