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Hugh Mitchell

One for Sorrow; Two for Joy

Good morning Mr Magpie
alone again, like me
I greet you then I bless myself
and hope that I shall see
your lady busy in the trees
up here in Jagger Green.

The wind is soft and urgent
on the pale green Yorkshire hills
rooks fuss in high bare branches
looking down on silent mills
and the magpie is a single bird
up here in Jagger Green.

I watched him as he rested
in the Mayday morning light
then hard and low and straight there came
another flash of black and white
and the sun is like a woman's kiss
up here in Jagger Green.

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Return to Ireland's Eye

Last night I had a dream of Ireland's Eye
wind-ruffled island of my childhood hour
- waves, restless seaweed, cliffs and gull-filled sky
the ruined church, the ever-watchful tower.

After a day exploring crags and beach
we'd board the motorboat to take us home
leaving the islet to unpeopled peace
its history dozing in the deepening gloom.

I dreamt that we were going there once more
with sandwiches and drinks just as before
- found roads there, streetlights, houses and a shop
with canned food, newspapers and fizzy pop.

Dream-isle of childhood - say adieu to me
some tiger crouches where you used to be.
I'm never going back to Ireland's Eye
the dream is fading - best to let it die.

poem by Hugh MitchellReport problemRelated quotes
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