this feather

this feather has a sad story

it is a lonely thing

It never had a single friend

and never took to wing

Though it looks quite life-like now

it hasn't got the spark

No fear no pain no happiness,

no light to fill the dark

But all alone its sits or stands

or lies I cannot tell,

I did not give it scenery

no bird from which it fell

It is itself anomalous

coming out of air

A shame I cannot pick it up,

but of course it is not there


Pictures are an awful thing

full of depth and wonder

but turn the page or just stand back

and intrigue falls asunder

They cannot feel their own despair,

they are not granted that

They are not given hope or joy,

they're lifeless, still and flat


This feather has a lonely life

for it cannot feel

It never was, nor will be,

it isn't even real.

It didn't flap or drop to floor

It was a thing of whimsy

It's simply there as it's drawn,

existence only flimsy.

It's on a page all on its own,

prided centre space

But pride can only last so long,

fear will take its place.

Solitude is nice for some,

no quarrels and no anger

But lifetimes pass while pictures dwell

on rusty wonky hangers.


My artistic blundering is not good,

the point was sorely missed

I didn't wait before I drew,

I did not think of this

I want to make things happier,

to bring some cheer, a smile

But what of my poor test-subject?

it I did beguile

It had no choice no skill no thought

no life to learn,

a moment caught


Trapped on paper, trapped by ink

Never changing, no heart to sink

It cannot feel its own despair,

I did not grant it that

I didn't give it hope or joy,

it's lifeless, still and flat.


This feather's non-existent life

could go up or down,

into a bin or on a fire

or to the Thames to drown

For the value of this thing

is what you bestow

it could be treasured a priceless gift

or cast aside so low


But if you were to decide

to go and throw it out

perhaps the wind will pick it up

and blow it all about

Then it will fly in true feather style,

floating on the breeze

and as it gains velocity

'twill flit with graceful ease


But what about the true despair

What became of that

This feather wouldn't feel its joy

It's lifeless still and flat

this feather is a poem which features in a book of the same name. I hand make each copy of the book. It is available now. Click here to visit my Etsy store.


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©MMXX James Wordsworth