I wrote the other day how much I had enjoyed hearing Nancy Somerville read at the Shore Poets event on Sunday. I bought a copy of her collection Waiting for Zebras that day and thoroughly enjoyed reading it this week. The poems cover a variety of topics, music and dancing; war and the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. However for me the highlights are the poems that deal with nature. We have birds in the city, gulls and blackbirds and, my favourite birds, swifts, I'm glad to find I'm not the only poet whose:
are filled with their presence
the wheeling cries
diving through tenement canyons
the boomerang shapes
rising to invisibility.
(from The Last Swift)
There are also poems of the Scottish islands, including Corncrake on Iona which captures wonderfully and humourously the search for this most elusive of birds. Humour also in Sheep:
No free thinkers here.
We go with the flock,
never stick our scrag ends out,
always do what's expected of us.
Bunny bloggers will be happy to find here the poem Rabbits in Glen Cova:
We point and point
in all directions
counting and losing count
until the last white tail
Waiting for Zebras by Nancy Somerville, published by Red Squirrel Press, £6.99.