School Birds

English would be a loud parrot

Screeching words at an empty page.


Maths would be a wise owl

Concentrating at every stage.


French would be an elegant swift

Darting and weaving and never still.


Science would be something stuffed,

Unidentified, with a broken bill.


Scripture would be a gentle dove

Sent from the ark to show God’s love.


History an old crow,

A dusty relic of long ago.


Geography would be paradise creatures

Flying west to find uncharted features.


Latin, a bird with a cobwebbed head

With its feet in the air, dead.


Music would be the chorus at dawn,

Art a peacock on a sculptured lawn.


Computers a flying machine that sings,

Technology Icarus with prototype wings.


But these made up birds are only a fable

Feeding at their very own bird time table.


Jeff Gallagher

Jeff Gallagher is from Sussex, UK. His poems have featured in publications such as Rialto, The High Window and The Journal. He has had numerous plays for children performed nationwide. He was the winner of the Carr Webber Prize 2021. He has been a teacher of English and Latin. He also appeared in an Oscar-winning movie. He has no handles.