NaPoWriMo Day One: Patrick Widdess – Birds

Welcome to this year’s NaPoWriMo podcast. This is the first of 30 daily podcasts coming throughout April with poems and prompts from me and other poets. I hope you will be inspired to write lots of new poems. So here’s today’s prompt:


Let your imagination take flight with a poem about or involving birds. It might be one particular bird or a whole flock. It could be the main subject of your poem or just flit through the background. Here’s a poem about capturing the beauty of birds and putting it on the page.

Bird of paradise

Where? I hear you ask.
See among those leaves?
That dark green one is its head.
See how its beak snips the air
like a pair of kitchen scissors.
Now you see its wings: Great fans of fire,
each feather a flaming arrow.
Its body cools and evaporates
into a white waterfall of tail feathers.
You’re probably flinching at the way
it wields its dinosaur claws as it takes flight.
See how it fills the sky, like an exploding firework,
yet fits on the page, hidden among
delicate strokes of black on white.

Patrick Widdess

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Alan Parry – Long-Tailed Tit

Merseyside poet, playwright and poetry editor Alan Parry is the next podcast guest. He will be reading poems from his latest collection Echoes as well as offering advice from his experiences as a writer and publisher at the helm of literary collective The Broken Spine.

Alan is brilliant at capturing scenes and characters in short poems with a few sharp and well chosen details as you can hear in this poem.