Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Bird Catcher

He chewed last year's mistletoe into paste
then, rolling it at length between his hands,
turned it to birdlime in long sticky strands.

He coated the wind strummed telephone wires

to catch the thieving swallows and martins
as the faithless birds began departing.

They were stuck there, like so many crotchets
on a sky-hung stave, twittering in vain
a woeful blues of frustration and pain.
Still the daylight hours grew shorter and cold.
Leaves fell as usual and Winter blew in.
The birds soon died from thirst and weathering.

If he could catch them all Summer would stay.
Birds, like passions, fly unexpected ways.

First published in Avis Magazine Spring 2016


Parked up by a wringing wood
on a crack-backed country road,
I shut down the lights and from the boot
took out a wrench: unflinching, cold.

I placed my mobile on the damp tarmac,
glinting in the light from the open car,
and laid savage into the bastard thing.
I watched its stupid face fragment and fly,
numbers flicking out across the road.
I kicked the remnants to the side.

Lying down on the ground, I saw moonlight
reflecting in the oily chippings;
felt gravel grit into my wet cheek.

If I could drive blindfold I could go,
avoiding all the places that I know.
Like driving in some foreign land
where all the signs are free of symbols;
faces are those of strangers,
undemanding and bland.

I wouldn't just drive slowly home,
my trousers muddy, face oil stained,
to quietly explain how I'd been mugged
and someone stole my phone.  Again.

Published in 'Making Contact', poetry anthology, Ravenshead Press, 12/ 2012
and included in 'A Fright Of Jays' from Maquette Press  7/15