The Blackberry Bush

The Blackberry Bush

A Poem by James McFadyen

We all stand there

Upon the wavering note

The fragile precipice of life

And death-

Each and everyone

Grasps dearly, desperately to

That final chord, whereupon struck

By hammers gall

Ignites the air in euphoric symphony

Until the diminishing diminuendo

And all song expires


(Fingertips lay upon the cold ivory).


But not you, the summon

Of the abyss played harsh on your ear

The cherubim choir,



Rent the heavens in a streak of red

Sharp, pinching strokes of blue

Pressing on the lobes, intoned murmurs

In the temples, blurred vision in sunspot smoke


Nay, you heard the rustle

Of the blackberry bush

Cursed sweet delights

Though it cushioned the fall

Of the forsaken one

You saw such bounty it doth provide

And in reaching for sweet promises

Scorched your fingers on its blackened boughs

From fiery breath, a salvation denied.


Yet from blistered hands, issued forth

The fruits of your labour, fraught

With pain, with joy, with hope, despair

The seeds of your loins doth blossom in your care


“Know thyself.” We are born astride the grave

And are dangled over that muddied void

As stars are strung up on the cosmos

Man, he is as fleeting as a dream

Like mists that dance across the ocean gleam


Through the volley and rolling thunder stormed

And, while horse and hero fell,

Boldly you rode and well


Draw to the pale, the threshold

Of the horizon torn asunder

A break in the fabric,

The firmament on fire

Hell ascend unto heaven

And forge in flame

The alloy of Man

For with silence, proceeds voice

(Loud and clear)

An anguish annealed

By heated breath

A flash of defiance

An orange hue assuages the sky

Upon which it carries your unabated cry


I will not serve

I will not serve!  

© 2014 James McFadyen

My Review

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There's a lot in this, including some great wording and a range of feelings. I like the ending that really adds to it.

Posted 3 Years Ago

James McFadyen

3 Years Ago

Thank you Leigh, you comment is truly appreciated.
James is a talented poet, who obviously understands literature. This needs a longer and better review than I have time to write, but I will simply advise all here to have a look at this..

Posted 4 Years Ago

James McFadyen

4 Years Ago

Thank you Leslie, even the brevity of your review brings me satisfaction.
This is beautifully done James as expected, But there such an emotion to this piece. Exquisite!

Posted 4 Years Ago

James McFadyen

4 Years Ago

Thank you Suk, truly.
The Black Warrior

4 Years Ago

You're welcome. This piece is beautifull and your choice of words are excellent! :)
This James is your most accomplished piece to date and it is the most sublime poetry. Thank you for writing it for my birthday and for being my son!

Posted 4 Years Ago

James McFadyen

4 Years Ago

Thank you for being the inspiration for my words.
the sheer power in your wording leaves one exhausted and satisfied, well done, good read.

Posted 4 Years Ago

James McFadyen

4 Years Ago

I'm thrilled I could conjure such a cocktail of emotions, thank you.
Such defiance, anger, and sadness in this piece. A lovely piece. Sorry about my confusion over your identity.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Lyn Anderson

4 Years Ago

Are you denying your own talent in exalting your son? No need to do so. There is room enough for the.. read more
John Alexander McFadyen

4 Years Ago

That is kind but if I had half his command of English and his artistry at his age I would have been .. read more
John Alexander McFadyen

4 Years Ago

PS James wrote this for me for my birthday.

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6 Reviews
Added on November 15, 2014
Last Updated on November 15, 2014


James McFadyen
James McFadyen

London, Richmond upon Thames, United Kingdom

Student by day, attemptee-author by night. Studying English and History BA/HONS at the University of Exeter. more..


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