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Sunday 5 December 2010

The Eagle and the Child

on the Poetry Bus

I can't quite believe that I've written this. It was a brilliant and original prompt (to take a pub name and from it create characters for a story - preferably rhymed) by Poetikat which excited - and finally defeated - me. Not at all my usual sort of endeavour, but that was a large part of its fascination. Hopefully, I will have learned something from it - maybe from the comments?

I tell the tale
of a bird of prey
and a child who met
by a lake one day.
Both were shy
and with nothing to say -
just a child by a lake
and the bird of prey.

The bird was gentle
and far from wild -
or so it seemed
to the trusting child
who saw in feathers
a place to hide,
in powerful wings
a call to ride.

They flew for ever,
flew far and high,
beyond the rainbow,
above the sky,
to a place where life
is light and free
and devoid of weight
or gravity,

a land too wondrous
to be quite true,
where rubbish food
is good for you,
where kids are more
than adult size
and adults think
them 'fab' and wise.

There, as they soared
above a stream
of ice and chillies
and juice and cream,
the eagle at last
had run out of steam
and dropped the child
from its happy dream.

Down he fell,
where they'd been before
to land with a bump
on the bedroom floor.
His parents tucked him
back into bed
deaf to the novel
stashed in his head.


Jinksy said...

And a brilliant an original poem you came up with! :)

Richard Theodore Beck said...

I wonder how many novels are hidden in our heads from our childhood? You may have created a new myth: the myth of the fledgling writer. Maybe the eagle is his imagination that once spent, drops him back to reality where he has to wrestle with the remnants of what first inspired him and put them into words. You'll have to eventually give the bird a name like you did for your imaginary friend when you were a child. Do you remember your imaginary friend's name? My imaginary friend's name was Kay.

David Cranmer said...

These lines danced, Dave. In your top ten of the year for sure.

Jeanne Estridge said...

I'm not generally a fan of rhyming poetry, because I think meaning takes a back seat to rhyme and meter, but the subject and theme of this allowed it to fit well within those constraints. Nice work!

Karen said...

This would make a fabulous children's book. I can see the illustrations so clearly. You should seriously think about that, Dave.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Just shows what a good prompt will do Dave - I enjoyed this very much and I am sure you enjoyed writing it, because it shows.

Anonymous said...

Dave, this is fabulous! It has a classic feel to it, like a verse that is recited to children across centuries.

Helen said...

Dave, This is a delightful poem ... do you think the lad might have sneaked into a pub before getting into bed with his book?

Kat Mortensen said...

As I said on my blog, Dave, I didn't think you possible of a "scramble" and I'd have to say you've done admirably with this tale - not compromising your usual erudite and perceptive work. I was worried the story was going to end badly, but you saved the day!

I would welcome your comments on my own pub-poem,



P.S. You'll now find yourself among the other riders in my sidebar.

Rachel Fox said...

I like it when you write with this childlike freedom - you're obviously someone who had a very special and unusual childhood and that helps you no end. I especially like the stream with its interesting ingredients! Very Wonka.

Carolina Linthead said...

Dave, this is lovely! I would love to hear it sung to me, and I also could see it illustrated in book form. You may think yourself defeated, but in fact you took flight.

Kat Mortensen said...

Just change that word "possible" to "capable" and you might have a sentence worth reading!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

In William Blake's tradition, marvellous work, the final stanza perfectly craddling the atmosphere from myth into "reality", which after all is still myth.

SouthLakesMom said...

What a wondrous work you wrote! It captures the magic of childhood dreams!

Hope that novel stayed put until the child was able to get it out onto paper!

Peter Goulding said...

I wish I'd written that. Expertly constructed and with an ending that leads to a thousand questions. And the rhyme and meter are not forced at all - it flows effortlessly.

Tumblewords: said...

This flies with magic and flow. I love it!!

Louise said...

Thanks Dave. You took us on a wonderful ride of childhood dreams. Magical. Thanks again.

Titus said...

I really enjoyed that Dave. A complex simplicity.

Cloudia said...


That really is excellent and pleasing, Dave.

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



Windsmoke. said...

I could just imagine this eagle flying with this child in tow over the landscape and then dropping him on his bedroom floor. Very enjoyable well done again.

Raj said...

that was cute! its almost like you were the kid soaring high and low :)

loved it. maybe cause it reminded me of childhood :)

Anonymous said...

. . . I can hear it with some gentle minor chord guitar accompaniment - which I might offer you one day!
. . . will add it to my faux-folk repertoire. BB

Dave King said...

To all
I am genuinely overwhelmed by your response and do thank you all so much. I very nearly trashed the poem. Then I changed the lineation a bit and thought, well maybe it would do, so I posted it. Never, though, did I expect that sort of response. I will now try to get round to you all.

Dave King said...

Much thanks for that.

I wonder if it would be a myth... it woul be wonderful to think it m ight be so. Interesting thought. Thank you.

Any minute now, I'm going to dance - un heard of thing!

I too, am not a fully paid up member of the rhyming fan club, b ut yes, it was part of the prompt and I thought it did fit. Thanks.

I will thin k, but I promise no more than that. Thanks for the idea, though.

The Weaver of Grass
Yes, you are absolutely right. I did enjoy it!

Welcome indeed to my blog and much gratitude for the comment.

Thanks. Yes, I think he and his parents were staying at The Eagle and Child. That must have been it.

You and I both. I, too, was afraid it was going to end badly when I started out. If I'd been steering it probably would have done, but I let the verse take over - fortunately!

Niamh B said...

Not at all defeated!!

This was a very enjoyable trip!

Dave King said...

It's true I do draw on my childhood a great deal. Your comment was very thought provoking. Thank you for it.

A warm welcome to you and very grateful thanks for your comment. Very encouraging.

Again. my thanks - also for my inclusion on your side bar. I am in the process of revising mine (well overdue!) and shall be happy to return the compliment.

William Blake, eh? Well, now I am overwhelmed!! So very true, your last remark.

Hi and welcome to my blog. Please accept my thanks for your visit and your comments. Almost you have spawned another idea. maybe it will survive - the way I'm sure the novel did! Thanks again.

Many thanks for that. One could hardly have a more valued comment!

Most reassuring to hear. Much thanks.

120 Socks
And thank you!

That is a great remark in the circumstances. Lovely.

Thanks again.

Thank you for the feedback. Always useful.

I was the kid, I guess.

Yes, I can hear that. I'm responsing to it even as I type.

Niamh B
Well, I have to say that I sure don't feel defeated now! Thanks.

Dave King said...

In answer to a few enquiries, something that I should have posted earlier:
The Eagle and Child is (or was) in Windermere. I can't claim it as a favourite pub, I have only been in it the once, but always remembered it vividly and with affection.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Wel done Dave you've pulled a bit of magic out of the mire!

Trellissimo said...

Nice one! We have a double ticket this week, so you have a bargain if you come and see us! :)

Dave King said...

Ah, the mire... I know a good bit of mire when I see it! Thanks.

Hi and a warm welcome to you.
Thanks for the comment. Shall pop over.

Unknown said...

Glad I looked back to read this, Dave. Well worthy of all the preceding comments.

WV: plato - you're keeping good company!

Dave King said...

I love it when folk look back! Ta very much.