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The Sunday Morning Poet: Neil Campbell Neil Campbell's poem is The Consolation of Birds

The Sunday Morning Poet: Neil Campbell

Neil Campbell's poem is The Consolation of Birds

by Neil Campbell,
first published: January, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

Neil Campbell's The Consolation of Birds is this weeks Sunday Morning Poem

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Neil Campbell said something like, “Use these poems up, I probably won’t write anymore.” I don’t know if I want to believe that, I can’t imagine Neil not writing and when I try, I am reduced to muttering a bunch of swear words. He’s contactable so go ask him what he meant. What I know is that Outsideleft has two of his poems in a vault, like the historical official metre as a marble shelf embedded in a wall at 36, rue Vaugirard since 1791. I am saying that these poems constitute the official standard for Sunday Morning Poetry. What is measured against. To be fair to me, the length of a metre keeps changing, if you’re looking for a new one it’s most likely going to be a beam of light. Nowhere near as bright as the lovely dull lights with which Neil illuminates the murk on everything always.

 

THE CONSOLATION OF BIRDS

Stuck under the bookshop rafters
I’m glad to get out for a bit
of lunch, sit under the awning.
Been quiet for six months, so quiet the
blue of the sky has been largely absent
of planes from the airport & that blue
of the sky has seemed even more blue
& because the shop is closed
& I’m doing online orders only there’s
no banter, no human contact & in some
ways this has been fine, very peaceful
& all the time there’s been the presence
of a pied wagtail, grey & black
tail wagging. It skirts the gutters of
rooftops, twats around in the car park
puddles where no cars park, & now
in Autumn, leaves piled up everywhere
& the trees just skeletons, still
the little pied wagtail cheers me
with its wagging tail & I know
like I’ve known it before, the consolation
of birds in the absence of other things.

© 2023, Neil Campbell


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Main image by Phil Mitchell from Pexels 

Neil Campbell

Author Neil Campbell is from Manchester in the UK. His next collection of short stories, Licensed Premises, will be published by Salt in October 2022. Previously, Neil published three novels, two collections of flash fiction, two collections of short stories, two poetry chapbooks and a poetry collection. He's prolific.
about Neil Campbell »»

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