November 2018 - Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird grew up in Cheshire, and has lived in and around Stirling for more than 20 years. He is an editor and content strategist, and has had poems published in Edinburgh's Anon magazine. His poem, The Illusionist, is about Sylvain Chomet's animated film, which follows the story of a struggling magician as he makes his way from 1950s Paris to London, then on to the Scottish Islands and to Edinburgh.


Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist

Even in the watercolours
of the early evening,
curtains gently marionetting
with the city’s melodies,
I am in mid-ocean worries
without rest and short of breath.
Trying to find work today
has come to nothing.

Outside, valued sparrows flock,
people course with their chins up,
poised and pledged to their appointments.
Meanwhile no-one expects me.
I am on a short settee,
blanket not quite to my feet,
listening to you next door
singing children’s songs loudly.

Others’ fathers pull out fistfuls
of knotted bonds from lucky jackets,
flickering fingers plucking coins
out of peripheral vision.
I meet your expectancy
with open palms and turned-out pockets,
look you wholly in the eye
and leave my hand on yours at bedtime.