One Poem by Jood Gough


Butterflies? she asks,
never having seen one of course.

I close my eyes to visualize.

One of them sat on my hand, I say,
barely an inch long,
blue – oh! a heavenly blue!
Lighter than a sprinkling of dust,
trembling wings …

Wings …? she asks, Wings …?
Yes, wings to help it fly.
Like lifting your arms
up and down
by your sides;
only different, beautiful.

She is silent.

They fed from flowers too, I say,
long delicate tongues curled up in their mouths
uncoiling to reach the sweetness.

She looks at me askance.
They did! I insist.

And the colours!
Brightest whites to the most mysterious of purples,
coolest blues and flaming oranges,
palest golds on the deepest of greens.

And patterned – decorated –
spots and stripes, and patches
of the strangest marks
in many colours.

Spots and stripes?
Many colours?
she walks away.

And I stand there
my hand still open
seeing that blue thought
quivering in my palm.


With thanks to The Loss of Birds by Nan Craig.

Jood Gough is a Shropshire born visual artist, who took up writing poetry rather by accident some three and a half years ago. She hasn’t stopped writing since. Like her visual work, a lot of her writing has its roots somewhere in the ancient landscape she lives and walks in, while this poem is also probably the result of her joining the Extinction Rebellion movement recently.

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