The News and the Blackbird

For days I've been nothing
but important to myself
writing this warring world
denying the distraction
of blackbird outside
my window, blackbird
who will not stop her song
who has no business here
and cannot know my pain -
and I don't know where
my eyes have been except
elsewhere and weeping,
my mind twisting open
like a fruit that won't
release its stone, my heart
grieving and beating
in the orchards of war.
But today the blackbird
sang suddenly in the key
of joy: Look out! Look up!
and what else could I do
but obey as she folded
into the green desire
of plum tree, home
to her nest that lay
hidden, chick-heavy
and ravenous behind
a celebration of leaves.

© Jacqueline Saphra, from Velvel's Violin (Nine Arches Press, 2023)

From Velvel's Violin, Nine Arches Press, 2022

Jacqueline Saphra

Jacqueline Saphra is T.S. Eliot Prize nominated, award-winning poet, a playwright, editor, agitator, teacher and organiser. She is the author of ten stage plays, four chapbooks and five collections. Jacqueline is a keen performer and collaborator, working with composers, musicians, visual artists and other poets. She offers mentoring and teaches poetry in all kinds of settings including The Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School. Her fifth collection Velvel’s Violin will be out from Nine Arches Press in July 2023.