The Colour of Birds
He wrote of the field, but the field was burning.
He wrote of the valley, but in the valley was a coalmine.
He wrote of the river, but the river was a black canal.
The sky was grey, and the colour of birds was grey.
The snouts of factories breathed the air.
On the train he read Orwell and Baudelaire.
He wrote up to his armpits in the black water.
He wrote from the bottom of the mine.
He wrote in the burning field.
And rhubarb grew in suburban gardens,
and in the dirt beneath, every slow,
invertebrate creature glowed its wire.