UKArchive ID: 35742Flight of Fancy by stormwolf
Originally published on November 6, 2015 in Poetry    

Somewhere in the darkness above me...

 photo IMG_3790_zpsxndqcdck.jpg

I heard them overhead,
faint at first but growing louder,
while hanging up my washing
by security light.

My eyes turned skyward
trying to pierce thunderous grey, mixed with
the faint yellow of light pollution.
They reminded me of the school kids
as they pass my door
all giggling and raucous
excited about the journey.

Transfixed by so many feelings
vying for prominence.
Sadness, wonder,
gratitude that their radar still works
in this corrupted world.
Praying they make it safe
to warmer shores.

Wishing I could barter
skin for feathers.

Alison Stormwolf Nov 2015

© stormwolf (stormwolf on OLD UKA)
UKArchive ID: 35742
Archived comments for Flight of Fancy
Bozzz on 06-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
In Edinburgh, if you could hear them at dusk, probably geese who fly and gaggle en route – maybe seeking a safe landing until dawn? The comparison with chattering homeward bound schoolchildren so apt. Beautiful and for a bird lover like me, a poignant, lovely and enthralling poem. Thank you Alison….XXX…David. Rating 10

Author's Reply:
Hi David,
Thanks as ever for reading and your lovely comments. I am very lucky as I live near two parks, the botanical gardens, plus I have a river running past the end of the street one door down.
I have lots of wildlife all around and often see a Heron in the river and sometimes one on the roof of the house across the road!.
We have even had Kingfishers here and I have never seen them anywhere else in Scotland.
I just love to hear or see the migration of the geese, it never ceases to move my spirit. Their unbridled joy at the fly-by was tangible in the air and I caught the feeling standing rooted in terra firma.
Like you, I love birds...and animals and even people.
Alison xxx

Nomenklatura on 06-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
"Barter skin for feathers". Top quality phrasemaking.

Good poem, well done.

Author's Reply:
Ewan, praise from you is praise indeed, you English teacher, you!;-)
Many thanks
Alison x

Mikeverdi on 06-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
Ah there you go, being great again. Just love the mixture of reality (security light) and the wonder of nature doing what it does. Good to see you posting again.

Author's Reply:
Hi Mike,
Great you saw the contrast of the poor human stuck under light pollution and relying on a security light to get by...while looking longingly up to the wildness that does not restrict itself by such things.
I never know when a poem is going to come but this one did like the old days.;-)

Alison x

franciman on 06-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
Hi Alison,
A good goosing under artificial light. Takes me back......
This isn't a sound poem and yet I can hear the birds clearly. Or maybe it's the schoolchildren. I love the analogy, and it is the best description I have heard of migrating birds. Tremendous!

It's a joy that bring tears, especially to your domesticated Prometheus tethered to Edinburgh Rock.

One of my all-time favourites.
The Grounded Gosling

Author's Reply:
Hi Jim
"A good goosing under artificial light. Takes me back...... "

ooooh you are naughty! lol 😉 (but I like you) good old Dick Emery...
Ahem...Do you know, as I stood there listening to them, they were just like the school children who pass my door on the way to their gym sessions in the park..The enthusiasm was infectious.
I also get moved to tears by such things... must be the poetic soul in us ;-(
Our day to fly will come but who knows when?
Alison xx

PS very delighted you took it into favs, thanks so much.

gwirionedd on 06-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
I thought this was going to be about UFOs (or as the Germans call them, "flying undercups")...

I agree with Ewan, the last two lines are really superb.

Author's Reply:
Now all I have to do is get the rest up to scratch! lol

Yes, I would love to write about Et's. The ship I saw up in Cruden Bay when my son called me out to see it before it disappeared. Trouble is people would think I had lost the plot. Well, it is my belief we have to discard almost ALL we have learned or been told and start afresh from a blank slate. But that's a whole new ball game 😉
Alison x

Corin on 06-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
Here in Newcastle we don’t even have the raucous starlings anymore. Lots of Magpies and ‘Craws’ and ‘Daws’. However the Herring Gulls make a great cacophony as they fly down to the River Tyne to meet the rubbish men dumping their load on the river bank.


Author's Reply:
What about all those strange birds under the bridges we saw? Cannot remember their names.
There was plenty of them alright. Don't think they were Herring Gulls more like Albatroses! haha
Alison x

Gothicman on 07-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
"The migratory birds are gathering and chatting, the skies becoming one big departure lounge" very much like noisy schoolchildren! Wonderful poetry, Alison, one hopes their "warmer shores" are not war-zones now! Hanging out your smalls using the security light! Hahahaha! That scared the shite out the nightly peeping Tom! I think "trade" would be better than "barter" but then what does a lowland pay-on-the-nose Scot like me know about highland haggling! When in Edinburgh in 2010, we took a bus north to the Botanical Gardens, beautiful place, I remember a ancient petrified tree trunk on the ground near the walk to the big greenhouse, hard as stone it was, and a small bridge up to a waterfall? Have it all on video somewhere. A lovely place for inspiration. Anyway, your exquisite handwork shines through again on this fine poem. One that connects to me so well! Took my rushed effort off, thought I was going to travel away awhile, must stop composing in the sub box! Hahaha!
Trevor x

Author's Reply:

Hi Trevor,
Yes, I can see the subtle difference between 'trade' and 'barter'. I originally had 'exchange' but I liked the sound of barter in this instance. It's funny how sometimes a word just seems 'right' for some reason. Whether it's the number of syllables or maybe the connotations?
I am very lucky where I stay. I have all the benefits of the country while at the same time being in the heart of Edinburgh.
The river runs only a few yards from my front door and all the large trees and wildlife are right on my doorstep.
For some reason hanging out my washing is a sort of ritual where I seem to take stock of how lucky I am. In the summer it's to the birds singing and in sunshine as the garden faces East and when I lived in seclusion in the country for two years, putting out my washing under a canopy of stars with no light pollution was absolutely 'heavenly!' 😉
If I remember rightly I wrote a poem about it but I have written so many poems that I cannot remember what half of them are about unless I read them again but the sight id indelibly locked in my inner vision where I draw upon it from time to time to capture the magic.

Alison x

sweetwater on 07-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
Beautiful Alison, I have read this several times. When I lived in a village, every year the swallows gathered on a telegraph wire in a field behind us, they gossiped and made their plans, and when they were all agreed they made their departure and I was sad to see them leave, but my good wishes went with them. Then one year the poles and wires were taken away and summer never felt the same, It was as if I had lost a group of friends. Your poem has brought back the happy memories of when they were still chattering on those wires. Obviously it has to go into my favourites :-)) Sue xx

Author's Reply:
Sorry for late reply Sue. I have been away up north seeing my mum 😜
I think several people can relate to this poem. There is so much love and wonder in nature .
Delighted you took it into favs!
Alison X

pommer on 08-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
Wonderfully observed and composed,Alison. Strangely enough I was contemplating writing a poem on the same subject two weeks ago.I was remembering the migratory flights of Wild Geese,which I regularly observed from inside the barbed wire of various camps including Longniddry near Edinbutgh.I used to dream that these wonderful birds would take my silent messages to my family,when passing there.Your contribution has brought back memories for me. Thank you for sharing. Peter xxx

Author's Reply:
No Peter, thank YOU for sharing and giving us a glimpse of what it was like for you.
It could not have been easy to say the least.
Alison x

Supratik on 12-11-2015
Flight of Fancy
Alison! It's absolutely fascinating to see how the poem engages in beautiful bird-watching, bathing in the sounds and then looks at the world. In my first reading, the first line read as I heard them overheard... and then I re-read the line as 'I heard them overhead'. It's a powerful line to start with. Had a fascinating interaction with the poem and with all the comments here. You are really lucky to stay where you stay, but you are luckier to be able to express your place so unmistakably well.

Author's Reply:
Hi Supratik, sorry for being late replying, I was away visiting my old mum and she does not have Wifi.
Thanks as ever for reading and seeing where I am coming from. I give thanks for my location every day.
Alison x