Requiem for a Bird – A Poem by Rebekah Ann Stephenson

Mourning Dove Bird and Poem Bird Quote

Hello Inspired Friends!

After over a year and a half of an absence here, I am back (more on that later). Ironically the last post I wrote was about a bird. Winged creatures are my totem animals and birds in particular seem to come to me with their messages. Crows, hummingbirds, a sparrow that I had as a pet even, and now a mourning dove.

It seems fitting that I should return “on the wings of a dove” so to speak 🙂 . If you are here for the poem only, you’ll want to scroll past this story telling part. You shall find the poem towards the bottom of this post. This poem was inspired by another particularly challenging day and a moment of grief. While the story itself may have some sadness, I promise that per usual this ends in inspiration and joy , with a beautifully uplifting poem to honor bird folk.

And now for the story, shall we….

Painted Bird House
an old painted birdhouse that the previous owner left here.

I had a particularly challenging weekend this week with extremely stressful matters that I cannot go in to. As a result I had a hard time getting out of bed yesterday and didn’t manage to get out of it until 7 pm, when I finally made it out to the garden for a bit of nature therapy.

As if to match my mood, there lied a deceased mourning dove in a flower bed that I was going to pick some flowers from. Some people don’t much value the lives of small creatures such as this and discard of them. For me it is different. I was very sad and needed to honor the life of this bird.

Did you know that mourning doves symbolize the need to release grief and pain, and embrace peace so that we can move on to the next wonderful thing that life has in store for us on our journey? What a fitting experience to have during a day when I was so depressed and needed to release some grief. The dove helped me do just that.

I buried the bird under my favorite bush in the garden and for now have sat this old painted birdhouse on the top of it as a marker. As I sat there in the cool evening with the dove, I was reminded of my sparrow Trooper and decided to write a poem to honor the lives of these precious creatures from God.

As I was writing this poem, a line came out that reminded me of a song I once performed in High School choir. The Lyrics are as follows:

Sing Me to Heaven (Daniel Gawthrop)

In my heart’s sequestered chambers
Lie truths stripped of poet’s gloss
Words alone are vain and vacant
And my heart is mute
In response to aching silence
Memory summons half-heard voices
And my soul finds primal eloquence
And wraps me in song
Wraps me, in song

If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby
If you would win my heart, sing me a love song
If you would mourn me and bring me to God
Sing me a requiem, sing me to Heaven

Touch in me all love and passion
Pain and pleasure, touch in me
Touch in me, grief and comfort
Love and passion, pain and pleasure
Sing me a lullaby
A love song
A requiem
Love me, comfort me
Sing me to God
Sing me a love song
Sing me to Heaven

You can hear the gorgeous song here (not my choir)

If you can’t see the above video, click here to watch a choral arrangement of “Sing Me to Heaven” directly on YouTube.

I sat with the dove in my garden and played this song and sang it in memory. I cried. Hard. It may seem silly to some, but I have a heart for All of Life and all of God’s creatures. It was a great release and ironically was the healing balm I needed to transform my own grief and anxiety. I found a profound peace. Here is the poem I wrote in my garden, while sitting near the bird’s grave:

Requiem for a Bird

by Rebekah Ann Stephenson

May we honor all life

No matter how small,

Nor how long their days

Nor how loud their call.

Nor how brightly colored

or unassuming be,

Whether low in the bush

or high in a tree.

Each one has a purpose

For God made them all,

Each one has a beauty

A sacred life’s call.

You awaken Earth in morning

At night – a lullaby,

You give our spirits courage wings-

Inspire us to Fly.

We thank you for your time on earth

We thank you for your song,

These melodies will never die-

In each bird they carry on…

We honor all creation

With reverence and love,

And sing thee now to heaven

On the wings of a mourning dove.

For more of my poetry, click HERE

Out of a tragedy and a horrible day came a beautiful poem that will now go in to that book I have been working on for ages. I haven’t been inspired to write poetry in awhile, so what a blessing to get back to working on my book! I hope this poem will touch you in some way, and with most of my nature poetry there are metaphors for human life if you read into it a bit 🙂

Blessings to you and yours,

Rebekah

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