Saturday, December 18, 2010

Still Fluttering


COLOR CARNIVAL

The Choir was performing, as it often does,
At a Home for the Elderly.
(I view the places more closely now.....
My destiny, maybe!)
The ladies sat around in chairs,
Propped up or half-asleep;
One or two in dreamland pose,
In a slumber very deep.
 But others alert and smiling
As though their lives were fun,
Even though it was very obvious
That their race was nearly run.
And I saw this work of art as it hung
On a side wall on display;
Butterflies cut-out by the ladies,
Butterflies at play.
And I thought of the life of a butterfly,
Which is very, very short
And, as I sang, I brooded on
A certain little thought.......
May I still flutter my wings a bit,
Or at least have a damned good try!
May I enjoy my last brief days,
As a brave little butterfly!
*

---------------------------------------------------------


THE TRUE TALE OF TIP.

The winter of 1953
Was about as dire as a winter can be.
The folk of North Derbyshire shivered and shook,
Preferring a fire and a cosy book
To a tramp on the moorland so wild and wide,
That covered their beautiful countryside.
In summer the landscape was sheer delight,
With the forests deep and the rivers bright,
But in winter it stretched out bleak and bare,
With driving snow on the icy air.
The snow lay deep and the snow lay white,
A glorious pristine lovely sight,
But threatening death to all who strayed
Through any now deserted glade.
'Old Joe's' real name was Joseph Tagg,
'A Derbyshire Shepherd' he used to brag.
But Joe was also known for miles
On account of his fame at sheepdog trials.
At eighty-six Joe still would keep
A watchful eye on his many sheep.
On December 12th on an icy day
He set off and he made his way
To where his sheep were huddled together
Keeping warm in the dreadful weather.
Sometimes he would stagger and slip,
But he had a friend, the faithful Tip.
Tip was his dog, his long-time friend,
On whom he knew he could depend.
Evening came and the dark descended,
The short cold bitter day was ended.
Joe's niece was not inclined to worry;
It often happened Joe didn't hurry.
But, as time went on she began to fret.
Why was her Uncle not home yet?
Next morning a search party scoured the moors,
Calling, shouting, knocking on doors.
But days went by and there was no sign.
Joe's niece began to mourn and pine.
Finally everyone had to admit
That this must be the end of it.
Joe had died on the moors he loved so well,
But exactly where no-one could tell.
The blanket of snow lay thick and deep,
And under it, somewhere, lay Joe asleep.
The winter ended, the winter passed;
The glories of Springtime came at last.
It was fifteen weeks since Joe had gone;
His niece had learned to carry-on.
They spoke Joe's name every now and again,
But time had helped to ease the pain.
Then, two fellow shepherds found Old Joe,
Lying in a ditch way down below.
His body was frozen when it was found,
For so was the hard, unyielding ground.
They picked him up to carry him back
Along the precipitous moorland track.
Then, suddenly, a 'something' stirred,
A low growl and a whine was heard!
A pile of fur, matted and sparse,
Lay there revealed in the Springtime grass.
It was Tip, lying, almost dead,
As close as he could to his Master's head!
*
For fifteen weeks Tip had stood guard,
Throughout a winter famously hard!
Though near to death, Tip still objected
To the frozen body being collected!
How Tip had survived, they didn't know.
Had he eaten roots? Had he swallowed snow?
He was given a medal in '54,
But Tip survived only one year more.
Maybe Tip and Joe are now together
Enjoying much more Heavenly weather!
*

1 comment:

kathew said...

lovely albeit so sad...good ol Tip!