The Morning Rings With Skylarks Singing

Written by: Keith Bickerstaffe


...inspired by 'Poem In October' by Dylan Thomas


The morning rings with skylarks singing,
o'er the greening meadow and the pliant pasture,
the ocean sighing, gulls aloft on wings of prayer.
A sudden shower would see me running
fancy free between the rain drops,
I cried 'Excelsior!' and set the hills alive;
I skittered, happy crisp and clear, 
like God's first measure of a holy hymn.

The air alive with songs of praise, 
the gentle winds a sacred message,
His grand prescription like a dream
that streamed out from the pillows of the heavens.
I liked to wander by the sea shore
skipping stones, disobeying laws of gravity,
as a lamb on shaky legs and tumbled freely without care,
'til gasping, I would stop to catch my breath.

The halcyon days of youth came true,
when I would race forever 'neath the tawny sun,
bedaubed in Autumn's blood, the flame
a blend of hues the likes of which 
would make a young boy doubly blind,
and lead him into kingdoms where the battlefields
would blister scarlet, happy times
that made me see my childhood clearly.

The weather turned again, and shanties
high atop the hillside loomed like castles drifting
in the sea-blown mist, the noise of boats,
their nets pulled, nudging at the jetty.
From the sand the village was a hazy spectre,
the chapel steeple peeking like Rapunzel's lair,
her hair a daydream falling soft,
O fanciful imagination!

I thought to when my mother took my hand. 
We skipped the cobblestones and shopped for wishes,
(toys which we could ill-afford;
a Batman cape, a red fire engine.)
The lanes were thick with merchants and the joy of life,
haggling, chattering like crazy seabirds,
loud, and mouthing their wants and wares,
and then we wandered home exhausted.

I never lost my youthfulness, 
my joy at seeing herons gloating, eagles floating
high on zephyr'd breezes free as spring;
hallowed times, in Jesus' presence.
I measure now my moments as the hours shift by,
thirty years and blissful, regrets are slight and few,
I count my blessings, feel content
that tribulation never came to trouble me.

A birthday cake is waiting for me,
candles flicker, frosting beckons, hope eternal;
my wish the same, for peace on earth
to all men, greetings and goodwill!
I lie down in the close and holy quiet 
while the village sleeps, and slips toward a new adventure,
safe in His keeping, perfect day
with promise of a bright tomorrow.