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Published: 20 November 2021

By Andy Ross

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Each week one piece from Flight!,  an exploration of migration through the journeys of birds, is featured on the blog. This time around it is about flamingoes. The poem is based on Victorian hymns, with a slow mournful verse followed by a more energectic and upbeat one because of the birds' habit of bursting into dance together. 

The Flamingo – holder of the sun’s flame


The exiled-we, in dark and doubt,

Gaze in exultation,

We, the exiled, stand without

To linger in communion.


Captive Ruler, take a bow.

Bend upon unbending knee.

We solace seek from exile now.

Listen to our plea.


The exiled-we, who linger near

To look, and gaze, and wonder.

Ease our sorrow. Ease our fear.

Release us from our anger. 


Aid us now, O Crimson Keeper,

Proud of eye and ramrod tall.

Guard us. Guide us, Dream-Fulfiller.

Vermilion Healer! Wings to all!


The exiled-we who, exiled, stand

And stare in awful wonder.

We, most earth-bound of them all,

Praise your bright sun-splendour.


Lord of Hope with Crimson Wing,

To you a quiet prayer we give.

Help our grieving hearts to sing.

Rejoice and let us live!