Photo: Martin Figura
Trying to make a garden
out of bird branches, nettles, dry grasses,
a wooden shed with slatted sides,
falling down and into itself.
Trying to alive a garden
out of weeds and light through leaves,
to grow a garden, to mound a garden
out of sycamore keys and thistle-prickle.
Trying to Christmas a garden, to Easter a garden
to flap a wing of a garden through
the stiff soldier arms of the trees,
to tangle a garden out of roots and worms,
to fox and owl a garden,
to slither a garden out of shadow,
to meow it, to cats-eye it out of night,
to hold a garden in a palm of light.
Trying to uncover a garden.
to mountain a garden out of goose grass, meadow-shine,
to weave a garden from stalk and stem,
from crows’ wings and cloudlight.
A Bird Inside
I wear a bird inside me:
a badge pinned to my heart,
drops of blood flower
where its pin pierces.
The bird inside me
opens its beak wide and sings:
I am full to the brim
with tweets and whistles.
I am made of spring
and I am raining,
wings feather my ears.
They are building
their nests inside my chest,
my head is full of grubs and worms.
Today I am blackbird,
tomorrow I will be all owl,
wearing a necklace of mouse skulls.
Julia Webb is a graduate of UEA’s creative writing MA. In 2011 she won The Poetry Society’s Stanza competition and in 2014 she was shortlisted for the Poetry School/Pighog pamphlet prize. She is a poetry editor for Lighthouse – a journal for new writing and she teaches creative writing. She has had work published in numerous journals/anthologies including Magma, Poetry Salzburg Review, Interpreter’s House, Other Poetry, Obsessed With Pipework, The Rialto and Antiphon. Her first collection Bird Sisters will be published by Nine Arches Press in spring 2016