Mary MacRae’s second collection
published Aug 10 by Second Light Publications. See order form (pdf file) for discount offers
Listen to Gill McEvoy’s poem Glass Bird in a Shop Window (read by Anne Stewart)
see Dilys’s Guest Blog on Ambitious Women Poets
The first series of 8 workshops, based on the 8 poetry sections in Her Wings of Glass, is now available to individuals and to tutors.
Need help with travel to Second Light events? See Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund
Round 8, Month 4. Our judge this month is Ruth O’Callaghan and she has selected Yellow Bird as her winning poem. Congratulations to the winning poet, June Hall, and to our four commended poets: Vivienne Blake, Diana Pritchard, Sue Rose and Merryn Williams.
after ‘Yellow Bird’, a pastel by Hugo Colville
Out of a hole in the man’s chest pops a bird.
In the sag of his torso there’s a hollow round the place
where smart surgeons have jig-sawed and cut away
so the tin man goes on ageing when rage bends him
squared in on himself, shoulder and elbow bent.
His cornered body, once upright and steel-strong,
now light with emptiness, is grown grey, suit-coloured,
its geometric planes drawn in pain.
Hunched, one-legged in his own shadow, he cranes
to the bird’s bright wink, chin pegged to his shoulder,
a thin cushion for the night when the flight
of the yellow bird is unseen so no-one knows where
it’s been till it opens its beak and speaks secrets ranging
beyond tears and grief to a comfort that’s strange as
a bird on the wing for a man clamped in a square tin can,
sealed in a vacuum.
first published in Equinox as ‘Post-Operative Man’;
published in collection bowing to winter, 2010
The Yellow Bird encompasses both human experience and the human condition on many levels. Here we encounter the mythological bird, the creation, in the guise of so many male figures ‘the sag of his torso’ indicative of all the failed ambitions, hopes and fears embodied in ‘the tin man’ which reverberates with all our childhood baggage. There is an economy that ‘speaks secrets’.