Spirit of the wind

Necklace of Stars, poetry
My ribs whistle
In that winter wind
And my bones groan 
Like the oak 
That stands firm by my feet

Aching in its limbs
As the storm passes by
The old tree creaks
As its neighbours rub side to side.

My lips cracking
Like bark around the trees
Oh this weather
Is not kind to you and me.

The strong, cold breeze
Searches our souls
Embracing us in endings
As we all grow old

The telephone wires
Hum their ghostly tune
A lullaby for this night
That will be over soon

My eyes are watering
Tears roll down my cheeks
I yearn 
For a good night’s sleep.

But there is hope
A light close by
My wife coming to me
Wants to be by my side.

How my heart and soul are lifted
As she kisses my brow:
“Come my dear
So we may shelter
From this windy, wintry howl.”


A Necklace of Stars is a meditation on childhood, viewed from the other end of life. Older people have made poems, songs and embroidery themed around childhood lullabies for the “Necklace”; we’ve also invited written responses to the pandemic, so that people can share their experiences as an antidote to lockdown loneliness. Here Neil writes a kind of anti-lullaby, with the wind singing to him and the ghosts of memory for company. A Necklace of Stars, working with older people in Derbyshire, is supported by Arts Council England, Arts DerbyshireDCC Public Health and Derbyshire County Council Home Library Service. This project is particularly aimed at countering isolation; during the pandemic we’ve been working using distance methods – post and phone conversations.

One thought on “Spirit of the wind

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