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.