Remembering the wild

An odd coincidence, yesterday a friend and I were exchanging linguistic references, words to describe places and features derived from Old Norse. Ings is one of them, meaning a damp marshy place or low-lying field. The suffix ‘ing’ appeared twice on the first line of words today.
Just for the record, ‘sausage’ was on the third page. I suspect the Oracle is just winding me up.

Remembering the wild

The ings were marshy once,
water meadows and full of life,
mist, blue and green and singing.
Iโ€™ve watched them dry, drained and paved.
Cars park there now in their cold, dead space.

From my bed, I can watch the moon,
listen to her night music,
swooping low over silvered fields.
Moonlight like sunlight has its own smell,
the waxing and waning of the year.

More rain drills the dust
and plucks petals from the tired roses.
This dog end of summer hangs its head
accepting the beating of the wind,
lying down beneath the deluge.

When you were small, we walked in the forest
beneath trees taller than you had ever seen.
You clung to my hand, listening
to the wild rustlings, staring
into shadows where primal fears lurked.

Gulls scream, feet raking the foam,
raucous, rowdy, relishing the sinking pinks and reds of the day.
I spread my arms, the last sun gilds
skin unfledged in the feather-wind;
all birds in this dusk light.


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.

24 thoughts on “Remembering the wild”

  1. That’s an amazing photo, so emblematic of this now-world and its climate. The feather-wind…will that disappear too I wonder? Cars seem to have replaced everything.
    My message took your moon and traveled beyond it in my dreams. A small source of solace. (K)

    1. The photo is one I took years ago with my first smartphone. The cheapest on the market, a French brand, that had an excellent camera. The river was always brown when there were heavy rains or wild tides, stirring up the mud. Higher upstream, the same river is full of sand banks. A bunch of kids even drove a car out to one of them here!
      Your poem is lovely. You really took us out of ourselves and our dirty little lives.

  2. This is beautiful, Jane, especially the second stanza–and the perfect last line. Did you take the photo?
    Thank you for the word “ing.”
    But sausage! I still do not remember seeing that word. I’m going to be forced to write a poem with it soon though. ๐Ÿคฃ

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yes, the photo is one I took with my old phone in Bordeaux. It took excellent photos, the cheapest smartphone there was. It was a shame when the phone part stopped working.
      Where I lived (West Yorkshire) place names were derived from Old Norse, more than Saxon.
      At least ‘sausage’ didn’t crop up until the third page. Progress.

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