Friday, August 21, 2009


On our summer cottage deck

Mounted on a post,

Sits a wooden whirlibird,

Waiting for the wind to blow.

Brightly painted, multi-hued,

Yellow, red and white and blue,

Eyes of glass and wings that spin,

Peacock-proud and keen to go.

A gentle breeze won’t make him stir.

He demands a stiffer test.

A hurricane is more his style,

Then with joy he starts to hum.

He bravely turns to breast the storm,

A note emitted with each blast.

Unflagging ‘til the gale has passed,

When watchful silence is restored.

So like his maker, this doughty beast,

Crafted on a hobby bench

By a man who never dreamt

His spirit to the bird would fly.

Unchanging, stubborn, unafraid,

Thriving on adversity.

Tough, courageous in response

To life’s unending challenge.

Defying nature’s cruel assault,

Heedless of his pain,

His future told in numbered days,

The tempest faced with steady gaze.

A departed friend is with us yet

In his loving handiwork.

A wind-blown singing whirlibird

Won’t allow us to forget.

*In memory of Phil Ross

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