Christopher Scully

Chris has a blog here and his book “Flat Holm”, a collaborative work with book-artist Otto Dettmer, can be seen here.

Tomorrow’s back pages

Tomorrow’s back pages are better than today’s
It’s only because you said you loved me
That I went away
The best line in the story was that one I could not say
Because it’s on tomorrow’s back pages
Which are better than today’s

Even if I heard you cry
The ink has dried on the page
Well you know my tears have dried
And I’m on another stage
So let the columns slip
Let the rows of words slip away
Tomorrow’s back pages are better than today’s


Can you catch an oyster with an oyster catcher?
Or shank a red, red shank
Can you shell the shell of a shell duck?
Or dun a Dunnock to his bank
And are you the one to witness the whim of a Whimbrel?
Or take cool turns with an Arctic Tern
Oh please tell me what Birding is in the end all about
Will you buzz a buzzard out on a panel show of ornithological knowledge?
To be cock of the walk, rank high in the pecking order of chickens in the run
While the sun is out
Will you gan at a Gannet, like you may gander a goose
Or might you take a puff at a puffin
Before with a sly smile turn him loose?
Might you throw a wad at a wader
Or take a snipe at a snipe
With your lens he is in the eye of the beholder
But do you see an eye for an eye
Or a tooth for a tooth
Can you turn over every stone in your search for a Turnstone?
Will you turn tail and run from a gull
Or gull at him back through the clear light of truth
May you lessen his black back?
Simply by painting him grey like the weather
Or fledge a fletch of his juvenile feathers
In the arrows of a Robin’s Hood
To hoodwink a Starling who sparred with a Sparrow
Tell me kindly if you’ve understood
Did you put the black bird down in your little black book?
Or put down the lark as a clown with a stern black look?
Did you flinch at a finch when he came around?
Was it you who took the voice from the mute swan?
Do any of you really have a choice in your wan?
Or like the grey goose do your clothes have some use?
You may hide in your hides, ride down your rides
Or follow the moth and the fly
For an insect is a gift to the very fast swift
As a wood pigeon is
To the peregrine or the Lord of the Sky
And not forgetting the crow
Who you too well may know
For his corvidian cousin the Raven
Has driven you stark raving Mad
With his gang of dark vandals
Who are no strangers to scandals
In amongst the nests and eggs of the coot
And should you hold a full suit
Or a good gambit of feathery friends in your hand
Please keep them safe and
Sound advice is this : You may remember it is best
To believe you are blest
And unlike the cuckoo who intrudes on a nest
For the others’ eggs out he will push
But know without doubt
Your life is not worth a short snout
For a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s