Gay Writes

Gay Writes — Feathers

by Richard Clegg


Until this evening         your signs were lean,

And for a time          far between

When once legion, loving

Keenly felt and seen


One day you startled me, I swear,

With your presence in a feather

White and unexpected on a stair

In our Spanish casa where

We used to share our summers

With that sign you said

“Well done, hang in there”


For a long while you would often whisper

Encouragement in my ear

Would send the owls to hoot from afar

Or to roost in my tree quite near

And with their night calls,

Speak to me of your endless love

Your understanding of my loneliness

Awareness of my grief and despair

As I heard them in the dark or stared

Into their daytime eyes

I was comforted        a sign

Like the feather


That was when I was filled with fear

Could barely cope without you near

Hour to hour

Day by day

Year by year


While still here yet knowing you’d be there

You once promised

Your presence in a breeze caressing my forehead

Then you were dead


There was nothing left but your signs

A feather,  owls,  a breeze

Your face in the full moon


Then for a while I was naughty and loose

With silly cigarettes and booze

My punishment?            To lose

Your presence, the signs and

With your                      absence


Itself a sign   perhaps   that I should find

Myself groping, stumbling

Bereft of help of any kind

Left to feel my own way  Home



Until this Winter’s evening as              I tread

The Marktplatz and all was dead      where

Upon the moist cobblestones you spread




Feathers             Everywhere              it seemed


As if a white winged angel had

Fought to death for me my Demons

Saying, “Fear not”


You had given me one last stunning sign

That all is fine

That it is time

This moment

This life

Is no longer ours                         but




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