The Blackbird of Berlin | Alistair Noon

His feet hop forward
in a jerky waltz;
then his feathered skull tilts
as if jabbed at with volts.

He inspects a parked car
from the open roadside –
then jogs across the cobbles.
Here I can hide.

He studies my behaviour,
has important concerns
about this mass that moves
but doesn’t eat worms.


I meet him ten years later,
beside the rewired railway,
as he jabs at the verge
for the next generation of worms.

The air is cold.
As I pass by, close,
he seems to feel no need
to either fly or hide.

From Animals and Places (Longbarrow Press, 2010). Listen to Alistair Noon reading this poem: