The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde


Artwork by Kenneth Rougeau - see link right

This April poem-a-day challenge started (for me) when the gauntlet was thrown down by Matt Merritt, poet and professional birdwatcher. His own efforts for National Poetry Writing Month are here. Later this month Matt will be guiding me and a couple of other bleary-eyed creatives on a dawn chorus walk, during our Three Jos in a Boat project. This poem is by way of showing him how far he has to go in raising my standards of bird recognition. You might want to listen to this as you read it. Incidentally this lovely image and others are available from the artist Kenneth Rougeau here – or see more of his digital work here.

Birdsong at the Rec

I know the ones that sound like muesli:
the ones that sound like rusty swings
or a musical saw;
the bomb going off,
the torturer’s knock at the door.

The car park birds,
the layby birds
of verge and brink;
these ones I know.

I like the ones that sound like schnapps
with gold leaf spinning in it.
I like the day’s last blackbird,
raising up its song
like a candle flame
against the street lights.


3 comments on “Birdsong

  1. Heather Reid
    May 19, 2011

    But, Jo. At least I hope you impressed him with your new knowledge of the word Jizz (which for anyone else reading is a birding term not what you might be thinking)

  2. Kenneth Rougeau
    June 20, 2011

    Hi Jo. I was honored to discover my artwork displayed on your blog, but I noticed that clicking the image leads directly to the picture itself. Would you mind changing the link so that it leads to my art store (the URL should be attached to my name above)? I’d greatly appreciate it! Thanks 🙂

    • Jo Bell
      June 20, 2011

      Kenneth – I loved the artwork and am so sorry, I couldn’t find how to properly acknowledge it! Delighted to do so and thanks for asking so courteously. Good luck with your work. Jo

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