The tales told by birds ( for Shyam ). A poem by Donall Dempsey

The civilisation of the birds
will prevail

and they will tell their eggs
stories  about how

the humans
nearly destroyed the earth

and how now they only survive
in the stories that birds tell

to frighten
their little hatchlings

who don’t really believe
that such creatures

could ever have


Dónall Dempsey Dónall Dempsey was born in the Curragh of Kildare, Ireland, and was Ireland’s first Poet in Residence in a secondary school. He has read on Irish radio and appeared in TV programmes there. He moved to London in 1985 and continued to write and perform his poetry there. He is well known for his dynamic delivery when reading, his surreal imagery and his tenderness as a poet in love with the world. Dónall’s poetry has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies and journals, both online and in print. He has published four collections, ‘Being Dragged Across the Carpet by the Cat’ and ‘The Smell of Purple’ in 2013, in 2017 ‘Gerry Sweeney’s Mammy’ and in 2019 ‘Crawling Out and Falling Up’. In partnership with his wife Janice, Dónall is co-editor at Dempsey & Windle Publishing.

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