Created

High flyers

All morning
in that huge space
hushed as a church
They showed me how they take
metal, wood, leather, paint
long patient hours
and with them make
four-wheeled palaces for princes
players, plutocrats:
The stuff we’re meant to dream of.

Only later, when I watched
four swans
unfurl themselves like magnolia flowers
then run
heavy, ponderous as bombers
grey feet slapping
wide wings whistling,
willing them
off the gripping water
and away
towards the island

Did I see something
that stopped me still
held my eyes
made my heart hammer

and all that manufactured art
was whirled away
like fallen feathers
by things no hand created.

 

After a visit to the Rolls-Royce factory. It was a work thing. Don’t think I’ll be buying one any time soon.

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9 thoughts on “Created

  1. Hi Nick,

    those swans have natural beauty that nothing we can make, can compete with. They are magnificant like this poem is, and this poem is made by human spirit. (yours!) Maybe we are no competition for nature in what we tinker, but we can ponder about it like no bird can (for as far we know).

    I suppose making stuff with kids (I was never found of doing that I have to admit) is only precious because we see how they love our attention and time spent with them. Like when a swan grooms its ducklings? 🙂

    You captured so well how we try to form material into shapes like nature already did much better!

    • Thank you, Ina. I found the whole experience a bit unsettling, to be honest: at a time when so many people are struggling, these cars that cost £350,000 (basic model!) seemed slightly obscene. And even if I had the money, I’d still rather watch swans!

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