Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill

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Waking up this morning with an earworm in my head,
Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill,
Waking from a dream wondering why on earth I’d said
“Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill.”
I was sitting on a train — Puffing Billy was its name —
When rising from my seat as I leapt up to my feet
Out the window then I flew as an arrow straight and true
All the while sucking colour from a puffin’s bill.

Clicky clacky went the train, flippy flappy went my wings,
Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill,
I was happy as Larry, as contented as a king
Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill.
But I saw the chuffing train go from a multicoloured rainbow
To a universal grey like a misty drizzly day,
I could only in my fright stare for my new persistent nightmare
Would be sucking all the colour from a puffin’s bill.

The light was creeping in through a curtain worn and thin
Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill,
Faint shadows on the wall and goose pimples on my skin
Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill,
The clicky clacky noise was the sound of little boys
Banging railings with their sticks; and all adding to the mix
Was the flippy flappy sound of some pigeons flying down,
Their ever present woohoo slowly driving myself cuckoo
All the while sucking colour from a puffin’s bill.

Go downstairs, have some toast, have three coffees (at the most)
Wash your face, clear your brain, try to lose the old refrain,
Get the news, read the post, try to exorcise the ghost,
But I can’t seem to kill it, the damn earworm lingers still, it
Is sucking all the colour from a puffin’s bill!


As long, long promised this is a piece inspired by Colin McQueen‘s post here on his blog Getting On

10 thoughts on “Sucking the colour from a puffin’s bill

  1. Lizzie Ross

    I’m fighting your ear worm here, but also, just above the desk where I’m sitting, hangs a print of 2 puffins, which are my favorite bird. On a small island near Staffa in the Hebrides, I watched a colony of puffins, just a few feet from where I lay in the grass (part of a short trip from Mull that included Fingal’s Cave — back in 2017). I truly savored the joy of that hour of observation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Calmgrove Post author

      Lucky you — Staffa Isle, Fingal’s Cave and puffins at close quarters, what a trip! The closest we’ve come to the little clowns was a trip around Ramsey Island off Pembrokeshire, and we didn’t see any, just a few seals, nor did we spot the dolphins we were hoping for.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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