New Welsh Review


Poem by Hannah Linden about birdsong, mental health and renewal

PUBLISHED ON: 07/03/23


TAGS: birds, depression, hope, renewal, rumination

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Rowdy as scarlet at the end of the day
streaks of honesty transform into birdsong
a blushed sweet confession splashed high
and reckless in the twilight.

A woman finds herself in the thawing then folds herself
into her single bed, wakes to the lee side of memory.
For one brief moment, in a flash of lightning,
the storm shows its ankle just before the kicking.

I’m talking myself into circles, the way
a pond empties itself into an underground
cave. The below surface parts of me
drag me down where they need me.

The salt drips I thought were a waste
have hardened into pillars. In this temperate
world there’s always somewhere for water
to flow, however hard the bedrock.

An impossible bird, wing-feathers turned inward,
has remembered my dreams, sings to a streetlight
about the coming of day, of how even a tiny bird
can re-imagine darkness as light.


Hannah Linden recently won the Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition 2021 and was Highly Commended in the Wales Poetry Award 2021. She is working towards her first collection, Wolf Daughter,  about the impact on children of parental suicide. Her debut pamphlet The Beautiful Open Sky came out in 2022 with V Press and is a Poetry Book Society choice. Twitter: @hannahl1n