On A Martin’s Wing I Rode   by Mary Wilson

I had a dream, and in that dream,

Far, far away from winter’s sting,

I heard the siren call of spring,

and climbed onto a martin’s wing!


I left with him one limpid dawn

when he with purpose rose and turned

toward a path that instinct burned

into his heart, and so I learned

the primal urge that drives him so!


He climbed and soared, a feathered weight

of might and will, no storms negate

his quest for home – to rest and mate.


Across the broad expanse of sky

he winged his way until the night

brought to a close his steady flight,

and we both rested till the light.


I shared the heartbeat of my host

and felt the trembling of his fear

felt his relief when sky was clear,

and he could sail on widespread wing

to ride the northbound breezes’ flow.


With greedy eyes I looked below

to see a world I couldn’t know

from foot bound earth !


Spellbound I gazed

at scenes unfurling as we flew:

at fields aflame with sun-lit dew,

and lakes like rough-cut gems of blue!


From forests dark but laced with green

rose scents of spring in dampened air;

rose other travelers, sky to share,

their voices lovely, pure, and rare.


I felt his hunger sharply warn

when cold mist fell and sun withdrew,

and gray skies overtook the blue,

and food was scarce and his need grew.


But on we pressed with spring’s advance !

We heard our fellow migrants sing:

vast choruses of voice on wing –

the trill and lilt and peal and ring

of life, abundant and diverse !


The urgency, the drive, the need

to find a home, to plant a seed –

each one to help its’ kind succeed!

When I awoke I felt bereaved.


My legs objected to the ground

my ears strained for that well-known sound;

and awake, I grieved what dream had found.


 I stumbled through my door where dawn

was slowly pushing night away;

where colours overlaid the gray

of shadows fleeing from the day.


Foot-bound again, I silent stood.

My world seemed infinitely small –

I’d flown the heavens, after all …..

But then I heard that liquid call


And raised my head to scan the sky!

He spiraled down – a speeding dart

of burnished feathers – valiant heart,

till we were only words apart.


“Friend, welcome home!” I cried to him,

and marveled once again that I

could host this creature of the sky –

that through his lifetime he would fly

those perilous unnumbered miles

to come back to this little spot

of God’s green earth – his journey fraught

with untold dangers, yet he fought

to come back here, back here to me!


He sang and spread his steel-blue wings

and I smiled in thanks for all he brings

into my life – the many things

he gifts me with.


 The simple joys

of dawnsong sweet on the rim of night,

and the grandeur of his soaring flight

as he plays the sky like a purple kite.


I had a dream and in that dream

I flew unfettered, bold and free;

and forever I will grateful be

for a martin that flies home to me.