“The Dance of the Breeze” by Louise Mc Carthy


In a land far away midst the bluey-green sea,

Grew a most ancient plant – the tippety tree.

Its roots stirred the ocean; its top scraped the sky,  

And it harboured a bird, reluctant to fly.


The tippety bird, whose home was the tree,

Had no need to fledge, no reason to flee

Comfortable lodgings cosy and stylish,

Plus each supper served with an excellent side-dish.


Whispering leaves translated the breeze

Into myths and legends from over the seas;

Gentle sweet lullabies, gruesome grim tales

Enchanting at once, delight without fail.


Then strangely the leaves of the tree blew away,

With a gust, in a storm, on a cold winters day.

Just one adornment remained way up high –

The tippety bird unwilling to fly.


To the uppermost twig the bird gripped with fear

No whispering leaves; nothing to hear,

But creaking and grinding of branches all bare

A ramshackle staircase way up in the air.


For three fearful weeks the bird hoped and wished –

Its voice it had lost, its happiness squished.

The tippety bird became faded and weak,

And icicles formed on the end of its beak.


And the clouds became dark and the waves were so tall,

Not the sun or the moon could break through them at all.

As the ocean was rising the feeling was grim,

For the tippety bird was not eager to swim.


Then the pitiless storm and its thunderous sound;

The war of the sea and the sky all around

Suddenly hushed…

And the feet, of the bird, by the sea foam were brushed.


Then the sun found a gap, from its paint-box it threw

A spectrum of colours, enough to imbue…

With inquisitive thought the bird dipped a toe,

Then zealously swam toward the colourful bow.


But the ocean erupted! The bird caught a wave!

It flapped and it fluttered, it flew, it was brave.

As the sea began sinking the tree rose up fast,

Sails were un-furling – its trunk was a mast.


On the bluey-green sea a sailing ship drifted,

A breeze swept the deck then suddenly lifted.

Ascending the mast, it circled around,

It huffed and it puffed till a new sound was found.


Flapping and rustling of white canvas sails,

Deciphered the gusts; the nautical gales.

The tippety bird, enthused by the song,

Suddenly felt on this ship it belonged.


Without hesitation, to the vessel it glided.

By stars and a quadrant the bird became guided.

Its course was consistent and it travelled the seas,

Adjusting cloth sails to the dance of the breeze.



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