The Birds Build Nests – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

The birds build nest from found objects
up in the eaves of my house
where I have no place to call a home
mine.
Fragile window-frames of splintered straws,
postcard door fluttering off its hinges.
I stack these pieces on top of each other,
ring the patio table in old newspapers,
and build myself something small, contained,
a space to fill up with just me
and leave no part abandoned.
When winter cracks against the garden,
steps up to the windows, climbs the brickwork,
I understand better why the birds all left
when the leaves turned gold.
These nests are skins for the shedding,
a stripping out of last year’s hide,
before the cold can come and take.

Tonight I’m writing for the DVersePoetics Prompt, where we’ve been asked to “write a poem in the first person that compares some trait of ours with something animal”, taking inspiration from Marjorie Saiser’s poem ‘The Print The Whales Make’.

27 Comments

  1. Carol, this is really beautiful. I especially love this:
    ‘I stack these pieces on top of each other,
    ring the patio table in old newspapers,
    and build myself something small, contained,
    a space to fill up with just me
    and leave no part abandoned.’

  2. A gorgeous metaphor poem, Carol! The comparison between your house and a bird’s nest is delicate and so well constructed. I especially love the lines:
    ‘When winter cracks against the garden,
    steps up to the windows, climbs the brickwork,
    I understand better why the birds all left
    when the leaves turned gold.’

    1. We’ve got a thrush that’s taken to visiting the garden, and I’ve always been fond of smaller birds. I’m not so fond of the pigeons, but they’re very fat round her and come in like feathery cannonballs.

  3. So much to like about this piece. My favorite lines are “When winter cracks against the garden,
    steps up to the windows, climbs the brickwork.” This poem really “grabs” me. Well done!

  4. A most stunning metaphor poem, Carol! I LOVE; “When winter cracks against the garden, steps up to the windows, climbs the brickwork, I understand better why the birds all left when the leaves turned gold.” 💝💝

  5. Metaphorically marvelous, Carol. I, too, loved that reference to winter climbing the brickwork, and your closing lines are supremo! Well done.

  6. I can just imagine those birds making their spring nests in the rafters. I like that you state:
    ‘where I have no place to call a home
    mine.’
    We need to learn to live in harmony with nature like this. All of us.

    1. I don’t always achieve harmony, but I try to do my best. The other half found a common lizard hiding in a pile of bricks earlier today while clearing part of the garden. We were both quite chuffed that he’d decided he wanted to live there so we left him a little hidey-hole and let him relocate at his own pace.

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