Monday 16 January 2012

Bird Lady

Bird lady
Under a pine in Vondelpark
the Bird Lady has fashioned
an impromptu feed-table,
arrives each morning laden
with bags of sunflower seeds
and kibbled maize and proceeds
to feed the feral Rose-rings
(Psittacula krameri,
40 centimetres,
general plumage green,
yellowish underwing,
in male, rose collar encircling
hindneck, nape suffused
bluish) and Alexandrines
(Psittacula eupatria,
58 centimetres,
a group of pristine males,
occiput and cheeks
suffused with bluish-grey,
black stripe through lower cheek,
pink collar encircling hindneck,
red slash on secondary coverts,
massive vermilion bill,
call - a screeching kee-ak),
which, were it not for her
genial dottiness,
would not survive the severe
calorie-wasting winter,
and we would be undernourished.
Peter Reading

I have been meaning to write a new post since the week before Christmas and New Year, but things were busy and then things were quiet and I didn't want to get back to the computer at all. I wrote some notes by hand and re-read Little House in the Big Woods and did some embroidery and some sewing. But now I have been tempted back to the Twitter and the Blog and would like to share this poem that I found. Last spring I found myself with a few minutes to spare in the British Library - rather than looking at any of the actual books, I went without hesitation to the shop, inside I found many bookish notions and reading souvenirs. On a low shelf I found a book with a pretty cover:

Having decided shortly before that I would like to 'get into poetry,' I made a note of the title and trotted off with a customary postcard. I don't exactly collect postcards, but they are very cheap, and very easy to transport, so I do tend to buy them when I visit places. 

I often feel a bit naughty or lame buying anthologies of poems, as if I'm not well informed enough to know which poets I like (I am worried they are the literary equivalents of 'Now that's what I call Music' ). But the fact is, I am not very well informed and getting an anthology is a thoroughly sensible idea. I am also a fan of Simon Armitage, so I reckoned I was onto a winner. The joy of poetry books (and collections of short stories) is that you can pick bits out like the best bits on the salad bar, and go away feeling satisfied, if not full up. 

The poem above seemed like a good one for January - I hope you like it too!

**In chapbook news** 
I have bought magenta card for the covers and have made some notes. I am going to start a search for the notebook in which I started writing the story a few years back...


  1. This is a lovely post, Debbie. Love the poem! A reminder of how nourishing observing nature is.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I love the Bird Lady and all the like-minded people she represents!