Parliament by Carol Ann Duffy

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Then in the writers’ wood,

every bird with a name in the world

crowded the leafless trees,

took its turn to whistle or croak.

An owl grieved in an oak.

A magpie mocked. A rook

cursed from a sycamore.

The cormorant spoke:

Stinking seas

below ill winds. Nothing swims.

A vast plastic soup, thousand miles

wide as long, of petroleum crap.

A bird of paradise wept in a willow.

The jewel of a hummingbird shrilled

on the air.

A stork shawled itself like a widow.

The gull said:

Where coral was red, now white, dead

under stunned waters.

The language of fish

cut out at the root.

Mute oceans. Oil like a gag

on the Gulf of Mexico.

A woodpecker heckled.

A vulture picked at its own breast.

Thrice from the cockerel, as ever.

The macaw squawked:

Nouns I know –

Rain. Forest. Fire. Ash.

Chainsaw. Cattle. Cocaine. Cash.

Squatters. Ranchers. Loggers. Looters.

Barons. Shooters.

A hawk swore.

A nightingale opened its throat

in a garbled quote.

A worm turned in the blackbird’s beak.

This from the crane:

What I saw – slow thaw

in permafrost broken terrain

of mud and lakes

peat broth seepage melt

methane breath.

A bat hung like a suicide.

Only a rasp of wings from the raven.

A heron was stone a robin blood

in the written wood.

So snow and darkness slowly fell

the eagle, history, in silhouette,

with the golden plover,

and the albatross

telling of Arctic ice

as the cold, hard moon calved from the earth.

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Scribblers, Higgins and Teen Camp

Uillinn
Making letter shapes

Wow, the time flies. One of the highlights of the last couple of weeks was visiting Alison Glennie’s drama group, and doing poetry with them. Of course, first they had to warm up by making letter shapes together. Then down to the hard work:

Writing poems

We’ve almost reached the end of the Scribblers course– only one workshop to go, when we’ll be working on the cover of our magazine, to be printed in time for Michael D’s visit on the 11th June. A lot of excitement about that. So many poems and stories for me to type up this week!

One of my young writers surprised me with this poem last Friday.I think she captured me perfectly! Have to share it with you:

Lucija's poem to me

I’ll have a couple of weeks to respond to new work at Uillinn, and to work on my collection, as well as continuing the one-to-one editing surgeries. Anyone interested in that can phone me on 086 3633567 to book an appointment.

Then it’ll be on to the Teen Camp taster, from the 8th-10th July, which will end my residency. As well as a little poetry, we’ll be doing fiction. I’m hoping for teenagers (aged from 13-18, although so far those booking are around 16) who are serious about writing.

TEEN CAMP brochure

And I’m not sure if that will open! But you can call me on 086 3633567 for details or to book.