First published in September 2021

The birds in my head
panic, flutter
flap their wings in terror.

The thoughts in my head
follow suite, swirl, mix
random words and phrases.

They won't leave me
in peace, ratchet up ideas,
peck poems into fragments.

I gather stray handfuls
of ideas, stare at the birds,
listen to their songs.

I open the door in my mind,
trap the birds one by one
between gentling hands.

I watch them take to the air,
leaving behind a new-laid
poem, its words untried, blue,

smooth as a blackbird's egg.