Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

In memoriam R.J.T.B.

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Thematic index of poems



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The year you were twenty-one an eagle, weary
Of brooding thin-shelled infertile eggs, sailed down
Into Glen Tanar and built a frustration eyrie
(So the forester called it) in a pine's battered crown.
We watched her restlessly preening, a victim of change,
Of technology's poisons.  I gathered a huge moult-feather
And keep it still, a memorial of that strange
Between-worlds summer when you and your friends were together.
Does that golden bird still live, and yet unfulfilled?
I have never returned, and only the forester knows;
Frail nets ― a feather, a sonnet ― hold memory fast.
Young, you saw visions, you mounted with wings, you distilled
Your hopes to a dangerous elixir, so building at last
Your frustration eyrie in the high alpine snows.

Robert Bruce, a young man of brilliance and promise, was a close family friend who was killed in a climbing accident in the Alps in 1979.

The Dancing Dust and other poems, 1983