Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the one hundred and nineteenth poem in this series. This week’s piece is by Alan Wells.
The Cuckoo Clock © Alan Wells
Within a one-roomed clock-top flat
A lonely clockwork cuckoo sat
And cuckooed hourly, night and day,
Which helped to pass the time away.
So beautiful his cuckoo cry,
That far off, wheeling through the sky,
A maiden cuckoo, high above,
Embraced that call and fell in love.
She searched until she found his sill,
Proclaiming mystic tones until
He joined her southward flight of joy,
A cuckoo girl: a cuckoo boy.
When, with the changes seasons bring
She brought him home again next Spring,
He sighed atop the church clock tower,
And cuckooed, as it struck the hour.
I asked Alan what inspired this piece and he said…
I would suggest that inspired is the wrong word, Morgen. Inspirations are usually affairs of rush. Rush has passed me by for some years now. Still, (I enjoy ‘still’, it’s more me!) you see, my Aunt Bess, who at the age of 80, taught my daughter how to ride a pogo stick and Uncle Sid, a splendid man who was a hedger and ditcher, had a cuckoo clock which clung precariously to their kitchen wall. The cuckoo I remember had a double ‘cuck’ and a loose spring somewhere which made him bang his bonse on the door as he retracted it after his last cuck-cuck ohhhhh! Then our village cuckoo was late last year, like everything else relying on a spring. Come to think of it he was late again this year; perchance he, like me, is getting old. Later, as I walked the dog down by the river, along the borrow dyke, I saw the village cuckoo in a dead tree, along with his mate, and I just wondered what she would think of a cuckoo clock cuckoo’s cuckoo. I am a simple soul!
Thank you, Alan. It was really sweet and they rhyming worked really well… hard to do.
Alan Wells was born in the very short reign of Edward the Eighth and is but 5’1” tall. He was, whilst young, for a brief time, a toilet cleaner and rose via National Service air traffic control, textile chemistry and apocalyptic good fortune to be (currently) a part-time sticker together of small pieces of plastic. His prowess as a writer was first noted by his English teacher who wrote in one of his earlier school reports, “essay work lively and original spoiled by attrocious spelling” (her spelling not his). None of his writings have been published outside his village because the genres of his scribblings are beyond those who don’t know him.
Alan specialises in stories of gnomes, dogs, rabbits and, with the aid of his long suffering wife’s artwork, makes Christmas cards which contain his Christmas poems of up to 1200 or so words. He sends these to friends and family, many of whom still speak to him. He loves singing and has, since the age of five, sung solos around local churches and old people’s homes. His favourite composer is Schubert but he has never dared sing one of his songs in public. The picture he has sent to accompany this résumé of his 77 years was drawn by his step-daughter and she has, he feels, captured the somewhat out of focus vibrancy that encapsulates the vital quintessence of his being. He would like to point out that, as with most people, he has shrunk with age and that he used to be able to see out of those spectacles: well, when awake.
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