Monday, 20 June 2011

A Tribute to Joan Cairns 1922 - 2011

Joan died over the weekend. She has been failing for some months, so it was not a great surprise. She was a poet, a musician,a raconteur and a friend to many. As a celebration of her life, today's post is one of her poems:

Celebration.

The March winds knife me, yet
in bushes curdled with blackthorn
birds shift about
trying on songs for size.
Soon hawthorn tips
will butter the hedges
salmon pink.

After that vacant, hollow year
they're back -
electric lambs
pronking stiff-legged,
butting their shabby
bundled-up mothers,
Kings of the Castle on every tiny bump.

The new Spring
stretches itself awake,
forgetting the bruised voices
in last year's wind.

Although Joan's body became frail her mind remained sharp to the end and she never became old - she always had Spring in her heart, so I think this poem is appropriate.

21 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This is a splendid, sharp bright poem really evoking SPRING -- love the images of the lambs - so insistent and lovely.
My condolences.

Gwilym Williams said...

Lovely tribute. Fine choice of poem.

steven said...

weaver - this is lovely writing that stands as a fine gift to acknowledge a life well lived. steven

Heather said...

This is such a lovely poem - I can see the images in my mind. It was definitely written by a 'young' person - I was thinking that as I read it. Thankyou for posting it for us all to enjoy, and a lovely way to remember your friend.

missing moments said...

I so love that last verse ... what a lovely tribute to such a talented life.

Grizz………… said...

That is a lovely, evocative poem. The lady had talent—and a fine, descriptive touch. As a lasting tribute, I hope her words will be preserved and made available, at least in some form, to readers present and future.

Thank you for sharing and again, my deepest condolences to you in the loss of your friend.

George said...

A lovely, warm tribute, Pat. I was impressed by some of Joan's other poems that have appeared on your blog. Sorry for the loss of your friend, but we should all live such a wonderful, creative life.

Dartford Warbler said...

What a joyful and evocative poem. Condolences on the loss of your friend, who clearly lived her life to the full.

angryparsnip said...

What a lovely tribute to your friend.
I had tears in my eyes reading this poem
My condolences.

parsnip

Titus said...

My condolences Weaver. Thank you for sharing her words with us, and the lamb verse is perfect! I could see them so clearly, and love the 'pronking'.

Hildred and Charles said...

Kings of the Castle on every tiny hump. - how that stirs my memory! A lovely and lively poem, - young at heart and so evocative of spring.

My condolences, Pat.

Dave King said...

A brilliant, lovely poem, a wonderful way to remember her. (But what's pronking?)

mrsnesbitt said...

A wonderful tribute Pat. xxx

John Gray said...

fitting and rather sweet

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments. Joan would have been very pleased with them. Dave asks what 'pronking' is - I think it is a word Joan made up and somehow it is quite an appropriate work I think - slightly onomatopaeic.

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

A kind thought to pay tribute and a lovely poem.
XX

H said...

Perceptive poem! I love the idea of birds trying on songs for size, and the verse about the lambs sums them up so perfectly!

Ann said...

Came via reader wil's site to add to your interest of the wizard of Christchurch.

This is my second comment.


Once, we had a party, he came uninvited with a friend who was invited. he didn't dress as the wizard, Just a very smart man in a business suit.

No, I didn't go and talk to him, I didn't want to embarass him. He has a masters in sociology. He was wearing a suit, and his long hair was briushed to the back, so you can't tell that he was the wizard. My daughter listened to him and says he was very clever.

I didn't listen to him because I can't get over him coming to my house unvited, and every time, we have a census, he takes a group of his followers in a boat so they don't have to be counted.
Of course, the police will wait the next morning to get them to be counted.
He lost credibility when he "ran" away after the earth quake.

Loren said...

Delightful poem - a perfect contrast to the end of life.

Gerry Snape said...

i only knew her through your blog Pat but what poetry I read there really touched me very deeply. Thankyou for that.

Guscairns said...

Hi Pat, this is Joan Cairns's son Gus. What a lovely tribute. It's been wonderful to know how many friends she had and how she'll be missed.