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.
See Poetry by Carl Sandburg