File:Rhipidura leucophrys -Canberra, Australia-8.jpg


The Willy Wagtail
Some years ago I was staying in the city for a conference. My accommodation was at the edge of the Melbourne CBD in Victoria, Australia, opposite the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens. The following prose poem is the story of a wonderful early morning experience I had in these gardens. And yes it’s true, I talk to ducks, birds, dogs, even teddy bears. The above photo is courtesy of Wikipedia. I couldn’t find a foggy photo.
I roll up the blind, see the fog, it calls to me “Come out and play”. I experience a sense of excitement as I hurry through my shower and pull my clothes on. Blow waved hair, makeup, these things no longer important.  The fog! I want to be part of the fog. I hurry downstairs, cross the road and run into the park. Drops of moisture caress me as I break through the fog’s mysterious, seemingly ever moving blanket. I can see it before I reach it but when I arrive at the place it appeared to be it is no longer visible to me.  This fills me with a sense of wonder; I giggle with glee at the fog’s game of hide and seek. As I move deeper into this wintery world I turn to find a high fence of fog surrounding the park. I hear the muted hum of the peak hour traffic, but it has disappeared from view.  It is as if the park and I have been magically transported up into the clouds. I walk towards the pond where a duck swims in the icy cold water. He looks black, but as I get closer I see the subtle rich green of his back. I speak to him “Good morning Mr Duck, you are very beautiful. Aren’t you cold swimming in that water?” He opens his beak and honks his reply. I can’t speak Duck but I sense on the deep important level we understand each other. I tell him “I’m sorry I didn’t bring you any food. I was in such a hurry to get out and play in the fog, I forgot. I’ll bring you some tomorrow.” He again opens his beak and honks.  “So long Mr Duck” I say. He honks, swims in a circle, then glides off. I return to my game of trying to catch the fog. I chase it but it outruns me, I try creeping up on it but still it eludes me. I sit on a seat to rest; go inward to that place of synthesis where I sense an analogy between the mystery of fog and the quest for total understanding. We may never be able to grasp either fully, but what joy filled, enlightening experiences we have if we try. As if to consolidate this insight, a little Willy Wagtail lands on the seat beside me. He entertains me with his dance, which is a combination of little hops and great flourishes of his beautiful tail. As his performance ends I experience an enormous sense of gratitude for the mysterious beauty of the fog, the duck, the little Willy Wagtail and me.
Tricia 24/7/98

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on February 3, 2012, in Poems and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Reading this poem was like finding an oasis in the desert 🙂

  2. Little Willy Wagtail–how charming. This is beautiful, Tricia. The mysteries aren’t to be grasped, but like you, I have to contemplate them in order to find peace. Introspection can be both painful and beautiful at the same time. Debra

    • Introspection linked with reverie (yes I think there is a subtle difference between the two states) can bring pain, but then comes not always understanding, but often acceptance, the peaceful resting place. When I become frustrated with my failing body, I take a deep breath then take the time immobility gives me, to explore the treasures of my mind. Some I rushed by without taking the time to savour, others are so special they have become favourite books that I love to read again and again.

      Debra I’m so pleased you have come into my life via the blogosphere. Your tours are taking me back to some very special times and places.
      With a little hug of gratitude, Tricia

  3. What an enchanting, uplifting, good-fun start to my Sunday morning. big 🙂

    We have snow here this morning and the blue tits are congregating in the tree outside my window before flying in to enjoy breakfast at the bird feeder.

    all is right with the world!!


    • David I’m very much a winter woman. I love the cold, and the rain, getting soaked and splashing in puddles, although I don’t get to do much splashing these days. I adore the white silence of falling snow, and had my only white Christmas 3 years ago when Rod and I visited a friend in Boston.
      Thanks for sharing the blue tits and snow with me, they have become a beautiful picture in my minds eye.

  4. If this does not make everyone who reads it smile, then there truly is something wrong with the world. I think I’ll spend the rest of the evening smiling.

  5. Trisha love to you today and may you have a lunch with fond memories x

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