The Colour of Birds
He wrote of the valley, but in the valley was a coalmine.
He wrote of the river, but the river was a black canal.
The snouts of factories breathed the air.
On the train he read Orwell and Baudelaire.
He wrote from the bottom of the mine.
He wrote in the burning field.
and in the dirt beneath, every slow,
invertebrate creature glowed its wire.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Upperton’s poetry and fiction are published or forthcoming inpoetry and fiction are published or forthcoming in AGNI (US), Bravado, Dreamcatcher (UK), Landfall, New Zealand Books, New Zealand Listener, North & South, Reconfigurations (US), Sport, Takahe, Turbine and Best New Zealand Poems 2008. He is a former poetry editor for Bravado, and tutors creative writing, travel writing and New Zealand literature at Massey University. His first poetry collection, A House On Fire, was published by Steele-Roberts in 2009.