Julia Bird

Image by Caroline Forbes

Your Grandfather Would Have Wanted You to Have This

Julia Bird

Your Grandfather Would Have Wanted You to Have This

Julia Bird

Your Grandfather Would Have Wanted You to Have This

So raise a glass of the whisky that was sunk
that this bottled boat could draw a schoonerful
of model sea, to the man who modelled it :
who teased each wave from putty and oil paint
through the keyhole of the bottleneck, who spent
all winter in the dry-dock of the dining room
ship-building a spillikin keel with hair-pin ribs,
who flocked the bottle's concave glass
with flake-of-salt-sized gulls, whose fingers
were made delicate by the tweezers and the button-hooks
it took to tat the rigging, gather-stitch the sails.

No champagne smashed at this ship's launch
but in the cross-trees of its mizzen mast
see, aloft, the balsa wood ship's boy
with his minute jeroboam ? In that bottle,
your grandpa said, the smallest tot of sea.
On that sea, a fleet.

from Hannah and the Monk (Salt, 2008), © Julia Bird 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher.


Julia Bird

Julia Bird Reading from her poems

1Article of Faith

2Jim Fixed it For Me

3Time, Ladies, Please

4The World's Population Visits the Isle of Wight

5This Much is Almost Guaranteed


7White Horse

8Covent Garden

9Five Years Trying to Win the Flower Show Vegetable Animal Class

10As The Peacock

11Paper Stars

12From Crammond Beach

13Fire in a Crowded Theatre

14Your Grandfather Would Have Wanted You to Have This

15I Really Should Quit, But


17Magnetic Translation: poetry one one sex

18The Animals Went in Two by Two

19Next Door Girl



22Hannah and the Monk

23Radio at Night

24What I Would Like is a Birdcage


26Souchong Sevenling

27Supersize Sevenling

28Orange Pips

29But They Wouldn't Want Us to Go Hungry


31Pure Maths

32Breathing Pattern

33This Does Me for Snow

34The Preservation of Flowers

35To Be Shone on His Body


37Love Poem with Artemia Nyos

38Victoria Street Reel