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Up on the old high road
That led to my grandmother’s house,
Uncertainly I rode my new bike,
Held up by my father, teaching me to fly.
Then suddenly he was beside me,
“I’m not holding you anymore,” he said.
“You’re flying on your own.”

A year later we drove,
Once more to my grandmother’s house
Where he, quietly and without fuss,
Lay down on her old iron bed-stead and died,
He couldn’t hold me up any more.
“I have to go to sleep now, son,” he said.
“You’re flying on your own.”
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
Learning To Fly © Bill Adair 2016
The stately tree falls
To the woodcutter’s axe
And all nature mourns.

From death comes new life.
A perfect shape emerges
From the plain, gnarled wood.

In his skilful hands
The carpenter produces
A thing of beauty.

But all things must pass.
Crushed wood re-born as paper.
Metamorphosis.

The woodcutter dies
And rests in the tree re-made.
Seeking forgiveness?

He enters the earth.
The soft forest floor opens
And bids him welcome.

An oak marks his place.
Its roots at one with his bones.
The slow turn of life.

And beneath the soil
His decomposing body
Gives the young tree life.
From "Learning to Fly"
Recycled © Bill Adair 2015
Jesus, Carpenter.
Time-served in his father’s shop
Left home to find work.
When I am an old man I shall not wear beige.
I shall wear faded denim and cowboy boots which are down at heel and need soled.
I shall spend all my money on guitar strings and magazines and beer,
And buy coffee for the old women wearing purple.
I shall still wear a golden earing, like some kind of ancient, gypsy minstrel,
And go out in port and starboard socks like Kate and Anna McGarrigle.
I shall sing the protest songs I learned as a teenager
That demand to know where all the flowers have gone.
And I shall argue in public with traffic wardens and slow check-out girls,
And swear loudly at religious zealots and politicians
To challenge the arrogance of their self-promoting dogma.

I shall turn up at music festivals with my guitar
And people will look and say, “I thought he was dead.”
And I will release a CD of new songs
That shall have on its cover a cautionary label which says:
**** Parental Guidance!

Just for now though, in my sombre middle age, I have to act responsibly
And not embarrass my friends and family.
I have to eat sensibly and not drink too much,
And pay my taxes and vote.
But later on, when I am old, my friends will know
That in my dotage I am just rebelling late in life
Against the strict, grey Presbyterianism of my youth.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
Omen © Bill Adair 2013
Bill Adair Aug 7
After a long struggle with electronic devices,
The Hand-Written Letter has peacefully passed into obscurity.
From the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphics,
to the hastily scrawled note in pencil,
from parchment and quill to paper and ball-point pen,
The Hand-Written Letter led the way in written correspondence,
bringing together the writer and the reader
in a way that emails never could.

Let us remember how we chose the paper,
how we picked and filled a favourite pen
and then witnessed the wonderful marriage of paper and ink
as the blank page filled with living words,
until finally, in that last, intimate moment,
it is placed in an envelope and sealed with saliva,
and in that moment’s parting kiss
you send something of yourself.
Obituary For The Hand-Written Letter © Bill Adair 2018
Bill Adair Aug 6
Radi was a hungry lion,
Radi was a lady hater.
One day Radi
Met a lady,
Radiator.
From "Learning to Fly" (2017)
The Tale of the Misogynist Lion and the Terrible Fate Which Be-fell the Lady He Met © Bill Adair 2014
Bill Adair Aug 3
In this day and age
Where can you find a glyphic?
I’d like to hire one!
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