Flight of the Halcyon

(Lavandula Angustifolia)

Perched on her chair, she rocked away days
with sunlight cajoling her hair
into thinking it was golden once more.

I saw her on Sundays, for that was the only
newspaper worth reading, she told me.
The craggy map of her life softened
when I lowered my bike and walked
the plastic-wrapped cylinder
to her lap. For my troubles: a humbug
and a story or two from a bowl that never ran dry.

In the desert of December, her porch an oasis
of iced lemonade and the aroma
of lavender soldiers; those straight-backed men
in manicured robes, guarding their flower pot forts.

In March, my route changed to appease some folk
whose breaking news wouldn’t wait
on memory’s thick ink or the idylls of thin paper boys.
A season’s tales covered my canvas,
rendered in the pastels of a halcyon youth
and shared over hours made of moments.

The grey shades of August set Magpies to nesting
and swooping invaders, of which there were many.
The first was the oldest and came in the night
to steal her stories for himself. The second, a gardener
to tame the bruised ranks before the new dawn
arrived. The last, a daughter to remove the news,
still shrouded in plastic,
for her mother never had learned to read.

by Ryan Stone

First published on The Houseboat in August, 2015


19 thoughts on “Flight of the Halcyon

  1. Beautiful imagery as always!
    “….sunlight cajoling her hair into thinking it was golden once more…”
    “…The craggy map of her life softened…”
    Also, this poem prompted me to consult a dictionary and I am now one word wiser. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary with the word “Halcyon!” 😊 I like how you alluded to idyllic days, and also to the ending of those days through the metaphorical flight of the bird. 😊 It had a very nostalgic feel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Yusra. I’m really happy to hear that both aspects of halcyon came across. I was hoping the meaning wasn’t too obscure so you’ve put a big smile on my face. It’s a great word!


  2. From the poems I’ve been reading, I can say that I recognise your style now. I like the way you use technical terms and change them into normal things. And how you take the normal things and elevate them up to a great literary level. But most important, how you touch and involve the reader with them. I catch myself following every single word, feeling each one of them (even those I have to look in the dictionary as well). Strangely, your poems make me think a lot about Germany and the time I’ve spent there (because they have a lot of forests and small villages as well).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am happy I read this, before heading out to welcome he new year. The peace and beauty of your words pulled me closer with each verse. I felt riding on the back of the speaker’s bike, delivering papers, and receiving the blessings of the storm calming lady.
    Gosh. .you are so talented!!
    Okay, happy new year again! See you on the other side πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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