Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Calling of Crows

My memories are often triggered by the oddities of life, sometimes it is a piece of music, a sense in the air, at other times like today, it was the calling of the crows.

It was about this time of the year that reminded me of the first time that I met a lively young antique dealer and fellow poet Roderick Hopper. I was told that he had a short time to live, which was hard to believe for he had such a passion about him, so lively and full of fun.

A few weeks later I was invited to attend the scattering of his ashes on Glastonbury Tor, there was no cleric in attendance because Roddy had long given up on religion.

So here written in poetic style is my true account of those proceedings.

Mist shrouded Glastonbury Tor.

The Witness


Roddy Hopper R.I.P.

A rain sodden evening

Friends meet and gather

In a lane ‘tween sacred well

and giant pagan hill.

In each their eyes are

searching - not finding

The one for whom they care

Each remembering,

Still aware.

Before sunset they

turn and walk

Over tarmac path,

through concrete posts.

Along mud, stone tracks.

Over cold wet iron stile.

Upwards over trodden

earth and grass.

Climbing , puffing, panting.

With steadfast tread

None desire to stop,

Nor dare

Onwards on

That great, green slope

Mist shrouded mighty hill

With secret power.

The top at last,

Now friends collect

Breath and breathe.

No sight or sound

comes from below;

We are here alone.

No preacher man

to organise our prayers,

No maudlin hymns

nor false sentiment.

Just true memory

with mindful thoughts

Of a carefree and

Gentle man.

St. Michael’s tower casts

No shadow as friends

Mill around, for each

A handful of blue

grey dust.

For a moment

to cherish, love and hold.

To murmur in quiet tones

As the white mist surrounds.

Ancient time passes

as each does linger.

To cast those precious granules

upon the ground.

Now do we turn

to negotiate

Slippery grass slope.

No steadfast tread

or urgent gait.

But conscious care

to find safe foothold.


Without warning

a clear segment,

a slice is made.

And we can see

Fresh green land,

silver dykes, distant hills.

Atheist or Christian

“Is this a sign?”

That all is not lost


That his Spirit

is Free at last.

© 1978 MRL


  1. Grace (somewhere in Australia) says:-

    Beautiful Mel xx

    Grace, on the move.

  2. Simply perfect Mel, simply perfect!

  3. Lovely picture of Tor in the mist. Beautiful words and a fitting tribute. Heron - thank you.

  4. to pause and remember... special moments that linger and have meaning..

    To the Crows ... and You..
    ...he would smile.

  5. Lovely, been writing about Glastonbury and going to visit there soon. A beautiful poem for your friend.

    Love this especially:

    We are here alone.

    No preacher man

    to organise our prayers,

    No maudlin hymns

    nor false sentiment.

    Just true memory

    with mindful thoughts

    Of a carefree and

    Gentle man.

  6. You do well, you did him well, all those years ago, you bardic treasure!

  7. that is simply lovely.

    Leanne x

  8. Beautiful words, a fine tribute.

  9. When you feel you are there and the words touch you deeply you know you have read the words of a great poet;)

  10. Beautiful words, full of the atmosphere of the Tor, a place I know very well. A fitting tribute to one who loved it there.

  11. Lovely, lovely words of tribute to your friend. I have such fond memories of being in Glastonbury (1999 seems like forever ago!) and walking up to the Tor on a beautiful midsummer night. Thank you for bringing me back.


  12. I am very grateful for all of your comments, I kept this one off my poetry blog mainly because I wanted to share it in a special way.

    So thank you for the recognition xx

  13. Beautiful entry and words :-)