£10.00 + postage, November 2012, 152pp
The second volume of Sidekick Books’ sure-footed, full-feathered tour of our native avian population takes us to lakes, marshes and rivers, where surely enough, a sumptuous conglomeration of birds cavort, sidle, gaggle, squabble and goggle. Expanding on the richness and variety of the first book, this collection draws together the work of a further array of poets and illustrators, each active in their own field. It makes for a festival of styles almost as multifarious as the subjects themselves, and just as certain to evoke fascination and breathy delight!
Featuring poems and artwork by:
Derek Adams, Anthony Adler, Rachael Allen, Carmen Ashworth, Andrew Bailey, Jo Bell, Emily Berry, Zoë Brigley, Sue Brown, Sam Buchan-Watts, Erika Bülow-Osborne, Mark Burnhope, Gerry Cambridge, Phil Cooper, Lois Cordelia, Sarah Coulston, Lorna Crabbe, M. P. Dean, Chris Emslie, Charlotte Geater, James Goodman, Luke Heeley, W. N. Herbert, Alexander Hutchison, Kirsten Irving, Andrew Buchanan Jackson, Valerie Josephs, Gregory Leadbetter, Alice Lee, Ann Leighton, Anna Le Moine Gray, Laurens Leysen, Ira Lightman, Rachel Lovatt, Sophie Mayer, John McCullough, Ian McLachlan, James Midgley, Harriet Moore, Siân Moore, Sarah Morrish, Sarah Ogilvie, Richard Osmond, Kate Parkinson, Abigail Parry, PopiRouge, Samuel Prince, Vidyan Ravinthiran, Erica Read, Julia Colquitt Roach, Christos Sakellaridis, Bethany Settle, Jon Stone, Katy-Rose Thorogood, Claire Trévien, Jen Wainwright, Alexis West, Chrissy Williams.
Mute Swan Theory
Three a.m. is no words in the house,
windows clutching their sides.
Broken glass is doubly free
with what’s beyond it:
out of the lake’s wrinkled brow
rises an interpretation –
a mute swan, drifting to land
like a harnessed iceberg.
There must be consideration for the rhythm
of its walk, the locksmith feet
springing sounds from their prisons.
The fragility of an inside-out pillow –
the way a shocked white chicken
might call to mind a dropped milk bottle.
The swan has no place in the house
it approaches, cannot speak; to speak
is forbidden, but one must be able.
Instead, two children sleep
as if sleep were a chord
reached only with both voices mute.
Instead, someone touches
where a branch tapped the window,
not hard enough to crack it,
and thinks of the possible
white star, whirlpool
or watching eye.