Sunday 14 February 2021

Two Poems by Kathryn Crowley




I never ran on concrete footpaths as a child

clutching a thick stick in my chubby little hand,

dragging it along metal railings

to hear song and rhythm released

but plenty of children did.


Mucky fields and cows

thousands of insects in ditches

 the might of many birds

provided my early years soundtrack.


There was no music at home

not an instrument to be found, but sound absolutely moved me

It spiralled up inside so I danced while chanting

stamping my feet in the back of the van

till I saw you smiling in the rear view mirror

became self-conscious and stopped;

blushing shyness, six year-old me.


The river was a divine symphony and there began my humming

Enchanted by the drumming of rain on leaves

Pit-pat pit-pat fingertips made of water

softly dropping to teach me beats.

In school we “played” recorders

more screechy than mating cats

a squawking ordeal I still remember

but not as awful as that September when we were punished

for chatting (as little girls do)

by sister Margaret.


The virgin Mary in white and blue

altar daisies in jam jar skirts

all witnessed the nun unleash her rage.

“Hold your hand out” she said to Michelle

Wood skin smack

Frozen, I watched.


There was no percussion at school

not one drum to be found, but sound absolutely moved me.

Radio brought music to my world

and I still remember that little girl

Tears of shock and swollen knuckles

The heavy hand

Of a violent bitch

That nun did not play

but she used a drumstick.




On the wings of human imagination

You soar through the centuries

Known as a powerful 

Creature of intelligence.


Greek mythology revers you as prophet

But messengers are not always treated fairly

Apollo, crazed by his lover’s cheating

Lashed out at the raven

scorching feathers black.


The bible says that Moses released you

to check receding waters after the flood

King Solomon’s hair was as black as your body

While Norse God Odin looked to you for world news.


Later, scholars picked the records apart

depicted you as evil and the dove

so white as peaceful.

The Morrigan of war shapeshifting as a crow

or the three in one Goddess

of girl, woman, crone;

oprojections are endless.


I see your resilience

and if you feast on the corpse

well what about it;

life comes in many forms.


You move above me with the rising of the sun

to land on a mighty oak

Taking your place in the court

of animals, trees and clowns.

Urban waste your treasure

jittery twitchy on the ground

Noisy, yacky, clever croaks

The stillness of dawn reveals your voice

whiplash jazz

a symphony of scavengers

Mouths and beaks sing songs of life

where you simply play your part.

Copyright Kathryn Crowley 

Kathryn Crowley is inspired by nature, the human condition, her dreams and travel.  Society’s wellness and woes also influence her writing.  She is a published poet who loves music, dance and song writing.  Creativity is her soul food.  Her next book will be available in Autumn 2021.  See


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