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Leaden Birds[1]

Only one ship is seeing us, a Black-Sailed Unfa-

Miliar, Towing at her back a huge Birdless Silence[2]

I’ve found every Sparrow God has Forgotten to watch over[3]

He who shall Hurt the little Wren shall Never be Belovd by men[4]

The Birds are in Misery – I don’t think they Sing, they just Screech in Pain[5]

Sore must be the Storm ­– that could Abash the little Bird that kept so many Warm[6]

Birds with their Wings Clipped, like Flightless Birds, Wrecked Angels[7]

The Two Breathless Gannets found Covered in Oil are not Unlike you[8]

The Petrified Birds sit in their Petrified Nests and

Hatch their Petrified Young from Petrified Eggs[9]

Morning Without a single Bird to Sing about it[10]

[1] Paul Éluard tr. Gilbert Bowen, November 1936

[2] Philip Larken, Next, Please

[3] Roger Reeves, Self-Portrait as Ernestine “Tiny” Davis

[4] William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

[5] Werner Herzog

[6] Emily Dickinson, “Hope” Is the Thing with Feathers 

[7] Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

[8] Joanna Klink, The Old Vandals were Floods and Boats

[9] Carl Sandburg, They Have Yarns

[10] C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

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