Baby storks spotted on our holiday last month! Aren’t they adorable? If you’ve never seen these zany birds close to, the Ecomusee in Alsace is definitely a place to put on your list of ‘must sees.’ (They’re everywhere!) It’s a living museum charting the everyday life of ordinary folk from the region, up against the backdrop of its chequered history. The Ecomusee website here is well worth a read.
Seeing all this, (especially the storks!) put me in mind of a poem I wrote twenty years ago whilst we were living in the region. The inspiration for ‘Stork’ came about when I learnt that during the World War II occupation of Alsace, this bird came to symbolise the freedom that the ordinary people could only yearn for. The Stork was free to fly up, up and away; one of the few creatures able to come and go freely.
And like much poetry, I’m sure it captures the essence of some of my own personal and spiritual journey at the time. Who knows? Anyway, here it is:
Clown on a thousand souvenir stalls;
he hangs legs dangling from the car windscreen.
Scattering sparrows- an alien on a pair of stilts.
This ugly duckling’s nightmare, Edward Scissorbeak
would shred that olive branch.
Cartoon messenger, symbol of sanitised birth,
Stiff-sticked and strawed, his nest a scarecrow’s crop
rises above the herd;
who watch him coldly, safe in their four-barred luxury.
They need no court jester…village idiot.
Symbol of freedom, hope in imprisonment;
he spreads his wings, unclipped. A shaft of light
filters black iron, its heat melts prison bars.
Clumsiness gone, he looks up to the skies
rises and soars.
©️ J Sigrist 1998