The piper by Menna Elfyn

with a nod to T.E.Nicholas

 
See the gentle bird there, by your window,
Startled by you, so  pensive in your cell,
Spare some  crumbs to this little fellow
To mark his arrival as he wishes you well.
Listen to the melody, what a gift
A poet’s accent, its harmony restarts
Another song , an aria to  uplift
And  beat in the sweet- poet’s tender heart.
 
And perhaps he’ll fly away, message deliverer                                     
To the land of your boyhood, bright message ablaze;
share with other mountain birds. Piper in gorse and heather--
 a message of longing, hiraeth as he sings your praise.
His wings will reverberate of your captivity,
Folk song of hope for the blue sky of liberty.
 
Menna Elfyn
 
I have acknowledged a famous Welsh language poet 
T. E Nicholas ( 1879- 1971) who was imprisoned  during 
the Second World War on false charges. He was a pacifist 
and held Communist ideals.  He wrote 150 poems in prison 
which  were smuggled out. Written on prison toilet paper 
they were published  in 1942 to great acclaim. He wrote one poem 
to a bird near his cell which I have reimagined here. 

Hiraeth - A kind of homesickness that can also mean
 a longing, nostalgia, and yearning, for a home 
that you cannot return to, that no longer exists, 
or maybe never was.
 

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