Sunday, May 5, 2013


These poems were written to perform at a Sundown Arts event featuring Birdwatchers' Wives, a performance piece by artist Caroline Smith.


A twitch of tweed hat
sneeps through wooden slat.
There are caws,
and carks outside,
and whispers of reedy grass.
The lid from a flask of tea drips
cold buttons of condensation that
flash like bird's eyes on the dusty floor.
There is no drama here,
but the snaps of beaks fighting
over slivers of fish,
or the minor horror
of a dog let loose
into the hide.


It is midnight.
I have literally just turned eleven.
My brain is fizzing with the sense of BIRTHDAY.
My feet kick impatiently as my sister slumbers,
and I wish the next seven hours away.
I know I'll get cards,
and bath pearls,
and a Friends video,
and hopefully new felt-tip pens
but most of all
I am getting
This is highly exciting.
This means my Dad and I can tramp through woods
with our own binoculars
and look for birds.
My favourites are jays,
pied wagtails,
and great tits.
My pre-teen mind does not think to find this funny.

In my first tutorial class
in my new secondary,
hyper intense school,
we have to write a list of Hobbies.
I write:
Writing stories
Playing guitar

We read them out. There is a
snick of laughter
coming from the girls who put

Very soon after,
the binoculars become my mum's
and I never go to Lee Valley with my Dad
to look for oystercatchers.
I go to the cinema instead.

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