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BooksMay 1, 2020

The Friday Poem: Flocks by Rebecca Nash

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A new poem by Lyttelton poet Rebecca Nash.




The café has run out

of muffin crumbs

and the sparrows

have come

to our woodshed.

They fossick for slaters

and wood hoppers.


Concrete lies under logs,

seeds lie under concrete

incubating in the trapped soil.

Roots strain

into pipes.


There too

are wise little shrivels

of plastic,

with origin stories more

complex than the stories

of sentients.


We should listen to these immortals.

Not ourselves

with our bones,

with our fucking,

our dissolving.


Seagulls pass with sailor voices

hoarse from opening their mouths

to wind roar.

The sparrows turn

to foreign sound

and understand

like we understand

the emotional ripples

of a sad Italian opera –


a story of a gull,


tumbling to lagoon.

Inert water swells

its inert carcass.

A flash of memory.

The flock flies on,

its grief is a moving song.



The Friday Poem is edited by Ashleigh Young. Submissions are welcome at

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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