Bird Spotting

On the first morning
of my holiday
I discover what it is
I have forgotten to bring.

My woolly hat,
some gloves,
my bird book.

Are those peewits?
the lady asks
looking through the mist.

I doubt it,
describe them to
the girl in the café,
she does not know either.

The lady behind the counter
says her brother will know,
he will be in on Friday.

I will be back home on Friday.


37 Responses to “Bird Spotting”

  1. This soothes me somehow, and brings a smile!!! As for gloves and a hat, I am never without them in the cold, and a muffler!! I think my blood has thinned!! LOL Hugs my friend!!

    • Ah Sandy, we are having another grey day here. As I look out my window I feel like I am living in a cloud 🙂

      Hugs are surely the antidote. Hugs to you too


  2. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    This sounds nice , – and so utterly real ….

    and in your first answer you already have the line for another poem:
    “I feel like I’m living in a cloud” I like the sound of it and lots comes to mind, though maybe that’s because I tend to live in my own little world 🙂

    Hope you get a view soon and things brighten up for you 🙂

    one more hug speeding your way!
    Vera & Karley

    • *Big Smile*

      I did think that too Vera after I wrote it. It is now in my notebook for future reference 🙂

      I could repair myself to your Shade House and let the thoughts flow 🙂

      I think the brighter view will not be here today

      But hugs are brightening up my internal view 🙂

      Hugs to you too

  3. Another glimpse into your world of Whitby!

    I expect you were eager for the answer so you could get on with ordering your egg and bacon sandwich! 🙂 🙂

    What a shame about Friday; now you will never know what they were!! 🙂

    A comforting, cosy poem, lovely!

    Love you lots



    • Ah yes Christine – an egg and bacon sandwich or egg on toast in the Battery Parade cafe at the end of the pier would be my ideal way to spend a morning 🙂

      Particularly on grey mornings like these. Somehow walking on Whitby pier on a morning like this is much more appealing than walking into Leeds 🙂

      I think the birds were turnstones

      Love you lots

  4. Hi David,

    Autumn at the seaside and the mist, it has a special appeal especially if you like morbid, and ghoststories. Very atmospheric poem, Whitby all over. I am still not sure you were glad to be back by that Friday or not though.

    Peewits, another great name for a bird!

    To me the poem meant homesickness on a not too pleasant holiday in the cold. 😛 (You told me it is up to the reader?)

    But you do those melancholic sketches really well.
    Have a nice cloud with no smog!

    I am still finding new treasures in your book btw 🙂

    Arohanui 🙂 (= my fav poem)

    • Hi Ina,

      Ah no, I enjoyed the holiday and I would have loved to stay longer 🙂

      And thank you about the book. Arohanui is a poem I am pleased with too 🙂

      Love and hugs

      • See, that is what you get with interpretating 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the holiday. It is nice you will have a whole book with Whitby poems. I am looking forward. 🙂 Do you have a title already?

        I like the way we both use Arohanui in mail, so that is why I put it here as well, hope that is fine. Namaste never did it for me somehow 🙂 The first time I heard someone say aroha nui I thought it was Celtic.

        Arohanui 🙂 and thanks for the comment.

      • Ah Ina,

        A poem means what it says to the reader!!! And I am sticking with that 🙂

        It will be in the Whitby book. The provisional title is “There are no such things as seagulls” which is a line from one of the poems 🙂

        Arohanui from New Zealand Maori.

        Aroha meaning love, and nui meaning big.

        This word also used in New Zealand English.

        My New Zealand readers could, no doubt, provide a fuller definition 🙂


      • Yes, thank you very much, but I told you a while ago how come I know the words (2, but okay) and how it followed me through life. I also have Maori cousins (adopted) btw. I just thought it was Celtic by the sound of it first time I heard it, then.

        If a poem means what it says by the reader, I suppose one should be careful who reads. I know the nazi’s used art for their own sick ideologies, and they never asked the artists. Maybe a poem can mean more than one thing, but if I may refer to our discussion: the poem about changing a (one specific) thought, mentioned in the poem, can never been understood or interpretated as if the idea is to change a person. That really is just wrong. It doesn’t say that. It makes the writer (me in this case) someone she is not.

        I hope this makes sense. And that you might change your thought about that poem and what it means! Not yourself lol.

        Arohanui 🙂

      • Ah Ina,

        My relation with a poem is with the poem and not with the poet. I am reacting to what is in front of my face when I am reading.
        There are some poets who I do not read at all because I do not have any empathy for their poins of view. You are not one of those poets!!!

        However your view might be endorsed by Carol Ann Duffy (our Poet Laureate) see link –


  5. A mellow & witty short poem (:

  6. you know that’s an interesting statement on ‘too little too late’ ….. i like the feel of this writing. don’t even know what a “peewit” is supposed to look-like …… but have a feeling i’ve been one on occasion *smiles*

    • 🙂

      Peewit is a colloquial name for a lapwing (because of the sound they make). They do have a crest on their head but it was impossible to see through the mist and they were keeping quiet which would have been the other give away. Not sure if you have them over there.

      And I do suspect we have both been peewits on occasion 🙂


  7. What is a lapwing? Who is in charge of those birdnames over there? John Cleese? 🙂

  8. Hi David,

    *Big Smile* I do love your Whitby poems.
    I think a trip back may be in order before the winter sets in. 🙂

    I get a peaceful feeling, a quietness from this poem. Although I have no idea how you would bare an Autumn by the sea without gloves and hat. If it gets colder than here brrr! It would be brave walk along the pier I’d imagine! :-O
    I felt an almost dismay at that realisation that you would be home on the Friday. It must be hard sometimes to leave a place you love so much? ((hug))

    I certainly relate to the slight frustration of never quite knowing what you saw.
    Quite often Jamie and I have been left in that position. We have recently aquired a book of birds of Australia so we will be in doubt no more! 🙂

    I hope some of the greyness lifts from your surrounds and the sun lingers for a while. 🙂

    My week has improved as my perspective has changed to one of acceptance. I’m very tired and frustrated…but it will pass as all things do in time. 🙂

    I will take the sense of tranquil peace and the mist from this poem into my weekend. I think sometimes we all need a little seaside magic. 🙂

    Take good care. 🙂

    • Hi Tikarma,

      Thank you for making me smile. I too have a bird book, bought for me by a friend, (British birds, not Australian birds 🙂 ). My problem is persuading the birds to sit still long enough for me to identify them!! 🙂 But I am getting better at it – it is all good fun anyway.

      The British weather is such that it is often very difficult to decide which clothes to take. I find myself from time to time either under-dressed or over-dressed. 🙂

      But this morning the sun is shining, the grey has disappeared, the wind has died down and it feels like Autumn ought to feel. Although I did have a big jumper on when I went out for a walk this morning 🙂

      I am delighted your week is improving. Enjoy the seaside magic you have taken from the poem 🙂

      K’sOTC 🙂

  9. Hi David, wonderful write. This one made me smile ear to ear! I hope you figure out what kind of bird it was. I love bird watching.

  10. How did we ever get by before smartphones? 🙂

    • Ah Michael, don’t start me on smartphones.

      I turn mine off when I want to be at peace by the seaside 🙂

      But taking a photo of the birds might have been a good idea and I did have my camera with me!! DUH!!


  11. A classic belfastdavid poem: atmospheric, closely observed, self-deprecating and with a lovely wry humour. Thank you for giving my tired soul a much-needed lift!

  12. This poem encapsulates for me how we want everything to be just so, but almost invariably, we manage to sabotage our own best efforts to a greater or lesser extent. So just a small thing, like forgetting to pack something, somehow changes the complexion of the day. Then, in addition, (beautifully done in such a short and apparently simple poem) you also evoke the common human experience of just missing out on something or of losing a one-off opportunity; but the regret here also seems to be tempered with a certain measure of acceptance, as if to say, well, that’s what happens sometimes… and life goes on. The whole experience is beautifully observed.

    • Thank you BH for this lovely comment.

      I am trying to capture the essence of something in these poems.
      If I can persuade the reader to step inside the poem then I will have achieved what I wanted to do.


  13. Reminds of those times when we go into a shop, say, “Do you sell…” and are given the useless answer, “No, but we used to do…”

    • *Big Smile*

      Thank you Elizabeth for dropping in and providing me with a smile.

      Once in my life, when I was asked for directions, I was able to say – “Well if I was going there I wouldn’t start from here.”


  14. Hi David,

    I always enjoy your poems. Little slices – this is great. Too bad holidays can’t last a few more days so we can get our answers.


  15. I like how this poem captures the imperfections of life. Sometimes we must go on not knowing. Sigh.

  16. Hello, belfastdavid. I am so glad I found you! what lovely poetry. I am subscribing to your blog, in order to see what you write next — I cannot wait.

    And the invitation is wide open for you to come to my blog, Thus far, no one has been willing to talk to me about the writing. I love the support, but I’d welcome your trained eye and sensibilities. Hope to see you soon!

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