Writings and Witterings



English: Common Swift (Apus apus) in flight. D...

Swift (Apus apus) in flight

Malvern Hills on misty moisty morning,
the sun up and doing for three hours now
British Camp beckons signing a warning
of bright sunlight as I get to the brow.

Silence and solitude unbroken drops
abiding stillness, soundlessness flutters,
no soul disturbs the calm of the hilltops,
Midsummer Hill sighs in silence shuttered.

And then from the West come the saucy swifts,
swooping and singing, playing today, while
they wait to migrate, chase, drift, flit and lift,
twitter, skitter, dip and dance to my smile.

What joy in aloneness, what joy in sight,
a ballet of darting, diving divas
so rare, a flock of sure swifts in full flight,
plunging and soaring they surpass their viva.

Silence and solitude unbroken drops
abiding stillness, soundlessness flutters,
no soul disturbs the calm of the hilltops,
Midsummer Hill sighs in silence shuttered.

Polly Robinson © 2013

English: The central mound of the hillfort at ...

I live within reach of Fanthorpe’s ‘stagey Malverns’ and Auden’s ‘blue hills’, the hills famously trodden by Tolkien and Elgar that inspired their music and writing.

Swifts¬†comes from an Autumn walk. It’s wonderful to walk our glorious hills ~ the swifts were extraordinary ~ a real and unexpected treat.

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45 thoughts on “Swifts

  1. It’s good to see the little buggers again!

  2. Lovely – I do miss swifts since moving to New Zealand…amazing to think of a life on the wing!

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful to fly like that? They were so happy and excited, just lovely to watch, and the surprise of them appearing made it even more special.

      You have beautiful birds in New Zealand too, though, I imagine, Rowan – I’ve never been there, but maybe one day …

      • Yes, there are beautiful birds and they aren’t as timid as British birds, but there is no way near the same amount of variety. Many British birds have emigrated here over the years though…lots of sparrows!

  3. ah, you caught the moment so well… loved the alliteration

  4. I really like the alliteration in this, especially misty moisty :-)

  5. This rolls along like the hills you love. Well done.

  6. Thank you for sharing that gorgeous moment, Polly. I could imagine the whole thing as if I was there.

  7. Watching flocks is one of my favorite things to do. You’ve really captured the moment with serene actions and grace, Polly. I love .. diving divas.

  8. Some terrific contrasts here Polly and a couple of excellent hook lines – I really have to make the trip to Malvern this year some time.

  9. ‘a ballet of darting, diving divas’ majestic line, Polly, loved the poem :)

    • Many have commented on the divas and I’m quite partial to it too :)
      Some poems are special to the writer and every time I read this one I’m transported back to the day I wrote it. This truly was a magical experience so I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it, Kieran.

  10. Polly, you do make it so inviting! No wonder it has inspired so many.

    • They invite me on a daily basis, Lea. And when you’re on The Malverns the sense of the present and time gone by and feet that have trodden them, all those great things that we get poetic about, they’re all there.

  11. I love the imagery in this poem. I can see them darting and diving…

  12. Loneliness is soulful and good for the self:)

  13. Midsummer Hill sighs in silence shuttered…. how wonderful to be able to walk in tolkien’s footsteps…heck..that sounds like an inspirational landscape..

  14. Funny how I never appreciated the Hills (never referred to as the Malverns in our house cos we were already there – I expect you had the same) as a child when my parents would drag us up there on a Sunday afternoon. I just thought they were boring and there was too much sheep poo. I like to think I’m a bit more appreciative these days… ;)

  15. At least you were taken for walks on the hills [which is how we referred to them, as you say, we were already there] I found as I grew up that not everyone had been up the hills. My surprise has lasted … they always said things like ‘well, you don’t bother when they’re on your doorstep, do you?’ But actually, like your family, we did.

    Good that we get more appreciative, I didn’t care for the sheep poo either ;)

  16. Just lovely Polly, it sounds so peaceful, felt like I was taking the walk too…seeing those lovely swifts, they sound delightful. I really enjoyed this, the last two stanzas give me that ahhhhh feeling. Beautiful! :)

    • It’s as peaceful as your beautiful photo of you on the beach looks, Di. A wonderful place to sit and think or walk and talk and think some more. Glad you enjoyed it.

  17. Wonderful mix of the shielded and swooping here – sounds like such a beautiful place. Thanks. k.

  18. Nice! Keep the bird poems coming.

    • Aw … I might have known you’d like this one ~ we’ve just seen a pheasant in the garden with an injured leg sort of scuffing along ~ I’d so like to help him but would probably frighten him too much …

  19. Oh I can taste the summer in this piece – divine :)

  20. Swifts are saucy, aren’t they. A lovely poem for what sounds like a lovely place. How fortunate to live near there. Enjoy!

  21. I really like this, Polly. It’s so evocative creating the scene and the atmosphere beautifully. Makes me want to rush straight over the The Malverns now!

  22. Flows very well. I’m playing catch up here and this made me smile this morning

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