The Spell The Charm The Intoxication

The Spell The Charm The Intoxication

The spell commenced.
The birds poured out of the gap in the clouds
A cloud they were themselves
a patterned swirl of smoke
but smoke bewitched, charged up, electric –
hundreds of configurations a minute
or more. I couldn’t tell with my limited mortal vision.
All I could do was marvel
mouth open
as you do when something so far beyond your understanding
occurs right in front of your face. The heavy gray clouds were a ceiling
for the spectacle
the dead brown grass on the ground the floor
the space between
just magic
as the birds swept up and over my head
a spiral a sphere a shape beyond needing a name
the spell complete

Clay Tile Magician Creature Under the Stars 2010 small

Clay tile, magician under the stars. 2010.

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26 thoughts on “The Spell The Charm The Intoxication

  1. A South African naturalist called Eugene Marais described birds in a flock, when they fly together or decide as a group to up and fly – their group soul. Can’t remember which book I read it in. The Soul of the Ant is particularly captivating.

  2. Oh, one of my favorites I’ve read of yours! Magical. Maybe just the poem for my pocket today. Would you mind?

  3. The imagery and language in this poem is particularly striking and is really punchily evocative. It has to be among my favourite Claudia McGill poems. I never fail to be mesmerized by murmurations of birds. I have a favourite memory of standing on Brighton pier with my husband and kids and watching the birds move and flow in that synchronized and sinuous way as the sun set into an incredible amber.

  4. Thank you. This is high praise and it means a lot to me.

    I’ve always loved seeing birds in flight all my life and even now I feel sights like this really are magic.

  5. You found words for feelings and a spectacle that is so hard to express wonderful! (And I look up and see Merril used the same word.. 🙂

  6. Thank you. I felt surprised that I could put my feelings into words because this occurrence to me is really otherworldly and beyond thought, almost. Thank you!

  7. Thank you.

    And as for the magician, I have since childhood loved this look for magicians and especially with stars on the robe, and the hat. I love the idea of such a distinctive work uniform…

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