Ten White Birds Fly Out of the Darkness

foto©robcullen02072021

Ten White Birds Fly Out of the Darkness

Today the dream palace is being destroyed
the place of dreams is being knocked down
it was a palace where dreams were made
love kindled love sparkled in the darkness

A dream palace with names that changed and changed again
Royal Clarence Theatre, New Theatre, County Cinema, Bingo
one hundred and thirty-one years it took to destroy
the palace of dreams with bulldozers and cranes

Ten white birds fly out of the darkness
Fly and fly and keep on flying out of the darkness

It was a place of meetings, of sharings, of kissing
of arranging, of touching, of feeling, you know what I mean
it was the only way people saw the world outside
freedom but not free of the colonial sneer national anthem

It was the place to go on a Friday or Saturday night
a place to hide out of the rain there was a lot of rain about
a place to laugh a place to sigh to cry a place to cheer
when the bad guy dies, a place for newsreels of the war

Ten white birds fly out of the darkness
fly and fly and keep on flying out of the darkness

It was the place your father’s cousin, Ros, trod the boards
before she went on to play with Lawrence and Norman
with all those other famous names of stage and screen
now she’s gone too, a small funeral in a covid year.

Ten white birds fly out of the darkness
fly and fly and keep flying now they’re gone too.

The rows of seats lookout, keep staring out, keep waiting
the screen is gone, the cascading curtain someone’s memory,
the proscenium arch bricks and rubble, the seats lookout
the seats look on, tomorrow they’ll be gone, the seats look on.

Ten white birds fly out of the darkness
gone gone gone. The ten white birds are gone.

©robcullen02072021

Royal Clarence Theatre with Clarence Public House to the front foto credit non-attributable
Royal Clarence Hotel from High Street credit rhonddacynontafflibraryservices