My grandfather was a bird.
Underneath his white hair
he wore crayon-coloured feathers.
They were of broiling gold
and of burning red
and of drowning blue.
One was green the colour of a single blade of grass.
When he walked ahead of me
I could see from his stride how he flew
in the branches of trees.
When his hand curled in my hair
I could feel him perching around me.
When he worked on the end of a shovel
I found how his arms spread wide in a turn.
And when he stood over a bed full of flowers
I saw that his eyes gathered what shone
on the ground for his nest.
When he was gone I remember him sitting in a tree
in a garden which he had planted.
And all the cries of morning were around him.
From The Art of Walking Upright (Steele Roberts Ltd, 1999)
© 2006 by Glenn Colquhoun.
Posted by kind permission of the poet.
With lines unseen the land was broken. When surveyors came, we knew what the prophet…
To pray you open your whole self To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon…
You are not fifteen, or twelve, or seventeen— You are a hundred wild centuries And…
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