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Picture 10471604, 1935 photograph, image copyright Mary Evans / Imagno/Austrian Archives

The Politics of Murmuration
by John Bowen

 

We arc and dip through

the clear evening sky.

A murmuration of our kind.

A widow’s veil in the wind

of ten thousand undulations,

wheeling through the indigo haze

of day’s departure.

All past and future, out of mind

to the now of flight and instinct.

Attuned to the touch of wing tip

and tail, I follow,

and I belong.

 

We are unity, beyond the burden

of the singular, bound to the collective.

As one in our shape-shift

of vortex and plume.

We dismiss purpose, or direction.

Our freedom is not to choose.

We soar no further

than the brush of beak and feather,

invisible by number

from those who would devour.

Above self, we are us,

and I belong.

 

 

© John Bowen

Picture 10471604, 1935 photograph, image copyright Mary Evans / Imagno/Austrian Archives

 

 

John Bowen is a widower in his early 70s, living in South London where he was born and grew up. He had a brief spell in professional football before going to university to study English. Most of his working life was spent as an Emergency Duty Social Worker until he retired in 2014. He has been writing poetry for well over 40 years on and off, but it has only been since the death of his partner, and the need to find an outlet for his grief, that he has taken the subject seriously.

 

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