The Magpie

Chapter One

Wanstead Flats

The is a place not far from here;

a circular clump of trees that fear,

long grass littered with empty cans

and the lingering stench of old stale beer.

Wanstead Flats

Bodily fluids waft from beyond,

complementing the rot of the polluted pond.

Rubbish and waste affectionately bond

and the flourish of gentle growth is never, never near.


The Magpie

Sometimes on a usual grey day,

a lone magpie wanders into this cold barren bay.

Perches for silent while, graffiti tainted smile,

full of emptiness, life in disarray.

The Magpie

For though she is alive, un-captured and free

and can fly to where-ever she may want to see

loneliness infests her and she allows it to be

as she has not learnt how make each day pay.


Wanstead FlatsBut one is for sorrow and two is for joy,

suddenly the magpie is accompanied by a boy.

Listen to the riff- raff harmony

of derelict love that nothing could destroy.

Wanstead FlatsThe plastic toy, the broken trolley soon disappeared

with worries, all things feared. And as they peered

into the water they saw themselves. Dross and joy.

Dross and joy.


Oh what it is know that she has found her heart,

and does not cry out silently anymore in the dark

but lives by trees which reside by the pond in the park.

And in his heart she grows.

There they will never part, never part…







Wanstead Flats

Chapter Two

There is a place not far from here;

a circular clump of trees that fear,

long grass littered with empty cans

and the lingering stench of old stale beer.

Wanstead Flats

Here the boy and the magpie shared secrets and grew

up towards the sun breaking through

the grey clouds. Out of the waste came new

dreams that seemed so near, so dear, so near.


Wanstead Flats

But boys become men or so I am told

The magpie remains to warm to be old.

Discarded. Alone but for the rubbish

that surrounds her, consumes her, breeds on her like blue mould.

Wanstead Flats

As the forever ended and the never-could came

so unexpectedly, as if this lonesome life has no aim

but to delude, to deceive and merely exist as the untame

degradation that is neither to have nor to hold.


Wanstead FlatsThe magpie and her dreams, both who never learnt to swim,

began to drown and flounder, in the suffocated dim

dark depths of soiled sorrow.

Rotting painfully. Memories of him.

Wanstead FlatsBut as she began to sink so low

Her rebirth began and she began to know

Although the bloom is shed so,

it was beautiful. Variation makes the real life hymn.


So, no longer does she pine and mourn

but flaps her wings, no longer torn.

And although a magpie born,

she may become a woman yet…

Before the waste greets dawn.

The waste greets dawn.


This poem was inspired by Wanstead Flats in East London.


*Click here for the music*

Poetry by iRate
ACTIVIST. MUSICIAN. WRITER.
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One thought on “The Magpie

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