July 30th 2022

It is Sophia’s birthday today.

Her presence in this world was a gift.

She is, and ever will be, a joy and a gift always.


There were swallows at the cemetery today
In winged canticle above me
Each loop and circuit a shout of joy
For the heaven that holds them

So much blue, it enters the eyes and lives there afterwards
With its song of sky and wings and light without and within
That the swallows sing

I wish I could give you the swallows
Here, in this place, where the dead lie
Single and separate, in mortal stillness, where you lie
Or this part of you that the earth owns

How I wish I could give you the swallows
And the blue, blue sky that comes with them
The lift and swift and soar of it
I wish I could give you the swallows

But perhaps it is I who needs to see
Sky and swallows and heart-fleet joy
And you who speaks through it
Your dancing step I hear in it
It is you, my darling,
Who gives the swallows to me

By R Nugent

(Photo from Hampstead Cemetery by Christopher Levy) 


This year’s poet to add a page to Sophia’s Notebook is noted UK writer, Paul Kingsnorth (for details, click here).