#BigGardenBirdWatch 29-31st January Artwork and Writing Challenge. Have artworks depicting garden birds? Have you written unpublished/published about garden birds? Please DM me, or send a message via my WordPress. Even write poems to the images in this blog post.


-Kerfe Roig “Crow”

Mirror mirror on the wall
who is the cleverest crow
of them all?

Caledonian crows?
The elite group of species, who
can use twigs to fish insects
out of holes and crevices,

whittle branches into hooks
tear leaves into barbed probes,
are innovative problem solvers,
blithely elegant,in pure dark robes?

Said the rook to the mirror
‘the latest research makes me shiver,
people will not consider us thirsty,
hungry, capable or free, since its
proven, we were never fools.

The corvid family, ravens, rooks,
magpies, jackdaws and jays, were
cautious, cooperative, concerned
and cool, tis no argument as scientists
say, and I just read the news on BBC, that
‘clever crows can use three tools’

‘Mirror mirror, now what’s your suggestion?
The crisis deepens, descending to recession.
Should it be a round table conference,
summit or a mediation, or a call for a corvid
crow collection?
Beware for they can locate
hidden secrets in succession, and solve
serious problems from reflective reflections.

With so much warfare and so many dead
No one knows where Ghaddafi has fled.
‘Tis worthwhile that research has led
to the discovery of problem solvers pool,
a mixture of brown, grey and black,
if humans and animals have failed,

let’s call the corvid crows, to use
the tools, to make peace instead.

-© Anjum Wasim Dar

Crow by Kirstin Armstrong

-Kirstin Armstrong “Crow”

flying sparrow_wombwell

-Kerfe Roig “Flying Sparrow”

House sparrows

The seed-eaters cluster
at the gate, clattering
their shell-hard mouths,
stripping the shrubs,
feigning softness –

a shrug, a fluster –

before exploding
suddenly in a burst
of feathered shrapnel.
Small silences open wide
behind them as they go.

-Andy MacGregor

In Response To Kerfe Roig’s “Flying Sparrow”

Who holds the wings straight?
keeping the birds floating high?
they with grandeur glide abide
by laws of unseen control and not defy
content with twiggy straws they nidify
I saw them happy and wished to stellify
I dreamt to fly over the world like a star
on ground words’ the mind may occupy
is it Shaheen or the grand eagle in the sky?
Inspiring flights soaring to highest heights
Drown not in oblivion dance not in wine Fly
fly far far away’ your home is Light’ shine’.

-Anjum Wasim Dar


-Kerfe Roig “Robin”

wood thrush_wombwell

-Kerfe Roig “Wood Thrush”

The first thrush

February’s barely in
and the first thrush is out
on a limb, calling it:
Spring’s coming!

And calling it again
as if disbelieving.
He’s sensed it –
something’s in the air:

a brighter blue,
a murmur of treesap?
Maybe he’s no wiser
to tell what it is

but, hearing him,
I sense it too, and sing
my own little tune,
foolish and free.

-Andy MacGregor


-Kerfe Roig “Nuthatch”

AndY MacGregor Jackdaw

Jackdaw photo by Andy MacGregor


Jackdaws, jackdaws,
owning the street
like black-clad cracklords.

Shady and sleek
in their graphite threads,
sharp as the beaks
in their slicked-back heads,

they’ll take your money,
and steal your car
(and now my poem’s
gone too far…).

-Andy MacGregor

carolina wren_wombwell

-Kerfe Roig “Carolina Wren”

Wren by Kirstin Armstrong

-Kirstin Armstrong “Wren”

A drably-dappled small form rests
ready, on a lichen-fingered branch.

Spindly spike-toed legs somehow bear
this domed puff of browns
as round as a Tudor monarch.

Eyes prick, throat thick, head back,
the fine bill opens to free in trill
his body’s songs,
carried from summers
long ago when
folklore crowned wren
king of all the birds.

-Charlotte Olver

blue jay_wombwell

-Kerfe Roig “Jay”

Complicity by Deborah Harvey

Blackbird I

Bless you, blackbird,
for your effervescence,
for calling unannounced

and insisting loudly
on champagne in the garden
as the sunset perfume

of honeysuckle spills
intoxicating from the arbour,
leaving me standing here,

light-headed and happy
this dark and miserable
March night.

Blackbird II

I wake up to darkness
under a warm blanket
of song: blackbirds calling

out the windless dawn,

weaving their tapestry
across the night’s hollow,
lulling me to sleep again.

I do not want to sleep again.

-Andy MacGregor

Goldfinches I

Goldfinches were like
hen’s teeth back then,
when a siskin or blackcap
was a red-letter day.

Their scarlet faces
are everywhere now;
an embarrassment
of riches lavished

on the hedges
by a spendthrift gust
of air; squandered gaily
on a scruffy clump

of weeds and teasel.

Goldfinches II

This January air
is an artful jeweller,

crafting a neat charm
of cloisonné birds
to gleam and dazzle
on the dowdy shrub

before stealing them
away in a flash.

Bullfinches I

Beauty is an act
of devouring
in which the object
is transformed,
the subject grows,

and a pair of bullfinches
whistle gently
to one another
atop a cherry tree
stripped of blossom.

Bullfinches II

The rowan tree conjured up
a flock of bullfinches
and sent them off

to the lonely birch
like a flurry of kisses
blown across the cold air.

What a fleeting thrill it was
to see them there, rosy
as a flushed cheek;

and it struck me
just how long it’s been
since I thought about you.

-Andy Macgregor

Grant Cornwell

-Grant Cornwell

Dead Magpie

All signs point to violence at the end
on this neat and nameless cul de sac.
Death-sullied gentility.

Flurry of grey in the last flight of feathers,
under-down flung from matchstick-boned body.
Nakedness the last indignity.

At the hands or claws of what?
Whose maw would tear head from spine?
Bare vertebrae spike, an obscenity.

Did your hoarse screech send waves of shock
down still, grey air? Black beak
wide with pain, bead eyes panicky?

Jerky swagger stilled.
Pied, green-black startle of a bird
wind-scattered now.
A blue feather-eye glows with fading vitality

-Polly Oliver

Dawn II Catherine Sweet

-Catherine Sweet “Dawn II”

Dreaming Catherine Sweet

-Catherine Sweet “Dreaming”

Twilight II Catherine Sweet

-Catherine Sweet “Twilight II”

Busy Blackbird

Skids about the garden,
never stops to rest,
stuffing beak with shreds and bits –
never mind what’s best.

Flaps off over treetops,
dropping stalks and sticks…
back again – more hops, more bits:
blackbird building nest.

-Kate Williams

The Owl

As I freed a moth from my window,
I heard a screech owl below,
down in the dip where the furry things hide,
where hill meets hooded wood.

I heard its shriek rip the night,
tearing the air like a bite,
slicing the dark down its deadly glide,
splicing that hide-away hood.

My moth went riding the star-glow,
light as a leaf from the wood.

-Kate Williams

Swan 2 by Su ZiSwan by SuZi

-Su Zi “Sandhill Crane sculpture”

Excerpts from Chirp

ice when the moon wanes:
Cranes curtsey, their exact walk
paired, to this year’s nest

she is weaving a
cradle, choosing found fur, dried
flowers: expectant.

mamma Crane , a gray
oval, demure on her nest
she thus honors me

raccoon argument
makes worry about Crane nest.
fragile survival

mama Crane has left
her nest; an oval absent.
Was the dawn’s shriek hers?

-Su Zi. This is from her book “Chirp”

Owl by Kirstin

-Kirstin Armstrong “Owl”

20191020_085529 (1)

=Christina Chin “Abundant luck”
Published in Poets Salon



National Park
a shriek pierces
the suspension bridge

Published in FreshOut Mag

ChristinaChin_abundant luck_Poets Salon

new year day
the magpie repeats
last year’s song

Published in the Bamboo Hut Journal of English language tanshi

One of them with regann logo is an art feature on Instagram.

-Christina Chin

Green Time By Annette Skade

Used by kind permission of Annette Skade.


Awoken by glass clatter, I hear
Milk Float electric whirr, his
bottles rattle in their baskets,
the clink as milkman delivers.

Fetch milk in, mam sharts.
Open our snowed door to find
Blue Tom Tit has been at it
again, claws stood on the lip,
beak strips the silver foil top
for a sup and winter sip,
and not made milksop, I spit

Tit’s been at cream again, mam!

-Paul Brookes

Bios And Links

-Kerfe Roig

A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new.  Her poetry and art have been featured online by Right Hand Pointing, Silver Birch Press, Yellow Chair Review, The song is…, Pure Haiku, Visual Verse, The Light Ekphrastic, Scribe Base, The Zen Space, and The Wild Word, and published in Ella@100, Incandescent Mind, Pea River Journal, Fiction International: Fool, Noctua Review, The Raw Art Review, and several Nature Inspired anthologies. Follow her explorations on her blogs, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/  (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/

-Andy MacGregor

is an ecologist and philosopher living in Glasgow. When not working or writing poems, he plays guitar and annoys his two teenage kids.

-Deborah Harvey

Deborah Harvey’s poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies, broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please, and awarded several major prizes, most recently the 2018 Plough Prize Short Poem Competition. Her four poetry collections, The Shadow Factory (2019), Breadcrumbs (2016), Map Reading for Beginners (2014), and Communion (2011) are all published by Indigo Dreams, while her historical novel, Dart (2013), appeared under their Tamar Books imprint.  Her fifth collection, Learning Finity, will be published in 2021. 

Deborah is co-director of The Leaping Word poetry consultancy, which provides support and advice to page and performance poets, groups, organisations, schools, universities, promoters and anyone interested in any aspect of poetry.




6 thoughts on “#BigGardenBirdWatch 29-31st January Artwork and Writing Challenge. Have artworks depicting garden birds? Have you written unpublished/published about garden birds? Please DM me, or send a message via my WordPress. Even write poems to the images in this blog post.

  1. Pingback: Poems Recently Published | Kate Williams Poetry

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