Tim Upperton

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.

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Hinemoana Baker | Emma Barnes | Sarah Jane Barnett | David Beach | Iain Britton | Rachel Bush | Kay Corns | Carol Cromie | David Eggleton | Joan Fleming | Lauren Barrier Gould | Helen Heath | Emile Hofstede | Lynn Jenner | Vana Manasiadis | Rachel O'Neill | Holly Painter | Ruth Payne | Lindsay Pope | James Purtill | Samiha Radcliffe | Christopher Reid | Sam Sampson | Kerrin P. Sharpe | Jo Thorpe | Chris Tse | Maria Zajkowski