Holloway, 4am

blackbird

A high pitched night howler
In a feather suit
Stitches the sodium night
With staccato
Plucks at the air
Let’s it scratch and ripple
Like a tin can rattle.

Tiny troubadour
Cooking up an alphabet soup
Of smooth serration
A sawing repetitive sting
String of crack consonants
Then sweet gurgle music
‘til dawn.

© Helen Babbs


“The dawn chorus is one of the best things about spring in London. Even in hectic Holloway, on some nights bird song can drown out the buses and sirens. It’s thought that the birds sing earlier, longer and louder in urban areas because of the light pollution and traffic noise” – Helen Babbs

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