Sky 2 Sky

While a friend of mine was in New York tonight, I was taking my son to his football training.

He might have got the skyscrapers

but we got the sky

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Dead Bird

from my poetry blog

Coronets For Ghosts

Dead Bird

The kids are fascinated by the varying states of putrefaction.
Every morning we pause, compare it to yesterday's
studied image.
"Where have it's eyes gone? Have they sunk into its skull?"

Half-covered by an overnight shroud of autumn leaves,
provoking a conflict of opinion.
The girl thinks it should be buried out of decency,
the boy eager to glimpse its surfacing skeleton.

Every day its stomach is drawn in, the ribs rising.
Then this morning, stunned: the bird is gone,
perhaps removed by a conscientious council worker.
The boy thinks that it's been dragged off to be devoured
by a fox, or a cat, but whatever it was
it must have been really down on its luck,
falling on that desiccated morsel
for a feast.



©AndrewJamesMurray

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Flies In The Ointment; Jackdaws On The Grass

Apologies are winging your way if I’ve not replied to your comments or visited your blogs recently. I’ve had a little fly in the ointment, so to speak, which is non-technical jargon for I’ve been having problems with WordPress recently and I haven’t a clue why.

I’m writing this post in the hope that it has now been rectified, and if it hasn’t, well, there’s only me reading this and you guys are none the wiser. Please let me know.

A couple of days ago, at a motorway service station, I was walking down a corridor, flanked the whole way by a glass window, whilst seeking out the Gents. At the end of the corridor a little girl was loudly banging on the glass. “Look, Daddy, pigeons!”

Her father, wearing the forlorn look of one waiting for his wife to come out of the toilet, a look I knew only too well, replied: “They aren’t pigeons, darling, they’re crows.”

As I passed them both I too glanced out at the birds.

Actuallythey are not crows, I thought to myself, they are jackdaws. 

And, with a certain smugness:

And I should know, being, unknown to you, the anonymous author of the City Jackdaw blog.

I didn’t say this, of course, for who was I to destroy the little child’s fantasy of her all-knowing father.

And besides, at that moment in time, I couldn’t even get City Jackdaw to work.

 

Hinge Moments

from my poetry blog

Coronets For Ghosts

Hinge Moments

there are hinge moments

that connect

the before and after

beneath the blustering larches

we make them visible

on crowded carriages

the fingers that brushed briefly

in causal static

an eidetic clarity

of toss-a-coin

choice

take off your shoes

this is sacred ground

this is the place where we first met

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Fate Plays Her Hand; Bryn Comes In

After four years being dog-less, since the sad death of our Golden Retriever (link below), my family are about to welcome a new addition into its fold.

Whereas I’d have been happy with another Retriever, Jen preferred something smaller. But which breed? Faced with this dilemma, fickle Fate played her hand.

It just so happened that on the very night of our conversation, a programme about the nation’s top one hundred breeds was on television. We tuned in for ideas, and when a Welsh Springer Spaniel appeared on our screen my wife said, “That’s a lovely looking dog, how about one of those?”

Initially, Jen had resisted the clamour for another dog from my children and I, having been so hurt from Rydal’s passing, so within a dog’s whisker of her uttering those words I had joined a group for Welshie lovers on Facebook and enquired about an imminent litter!

Welsh Springers are not as common as English Springers, and so I knew we’d have to travel to find one. Somebody had even suggested Sweden to me, but air fare was definitely beyond our budget.

I’d not considered Scandinavia, funnily enough, but that became a moot point when I found a pregnant Welsh Springer in Wales, of all places. Who’d have thought it?

But, alas, her pups were already reserved for buyers.

A week later, another breeder, living a two and a half hour’s drive away from us in Manchester, had seen my online query and contacted me as her Springer was due to have a litter in four weeks. I confirmed that I was still interested and we got talking about why we wanted this paticular breed.

(Fate Alert drumroll please)

It only turned out that the dog that we had seen on that television show was THIS breeder’s dog. The very dog that my wife had remarked upon, and so steered us in this direction, was soon to give birth to our new puppy! What’s the odds on that?!

You’ve gotta love the magic of television.

Anyway, for reasons of space, let me give you this brief summing up:

a litter of nine was born; children were at fever pitch; we had first choice of five boys; children nearly had a breakdown with the pressure; then finally:

after my daughter, tearing her hair out and saying that the process of ruling out the four other, equally cute dogs was worse than the multiple choice questions of her SATS exams, we chose this little fella:

Originally named Uno by the breeder (we later found out that this was because he was the first born. It seems quite apt that the first born should be the first chosen). We now had to come up with our own name.

I wanted something Welsh.

“What Welsh names do you know?” asked my wife.

I came up with Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey.

“Not a chance!”

My alternative suggestion of Jenkins, after Katherine Jenkins, was similarly dismissed. So as a family we went through some Welsh names and links. I liked Arthur, you know, our once and future King and all that. But in the end we came to an agreement: Uno was now Bryn.

But you knew that, didn’t you? Having read the title of this post.

We get him tomorrow. It’s the end of our lives as we know it.

My post about the passing of Rydal:

https://cityjackdaw.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/farewell-old-friend/

In Brigantia Out Now

City Jackdaw

I’m very pleased to announce that my second poetry collection, In Brigantia, is out now.

‘Andrew James Murray’s second collection invites you to Brigantia, territory of Celtic tribe the Brigantes.

It is a Brigantia of both geography and imagination, where Queen Cartimandua rubs shoulders with screen goddess Marilyn Monroe, and Tom Cruise is proselytising upon the streets of Manchester.’

For readers in the UK it is available here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+brigantia&qid=1558264687&s=gateway&sr=8-1

For readers in the US you can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Brigantia&qid=1558264804&s=gateway&sr=8-1

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