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The Scarlet Macaw by Tammy Shadbolt

THE SCARLET MACAW. The Scarlet Macaw, An elegant creature, A splattered rainbow or a multi mixed paintbox, A splash of vivid colours, glistening and metallic Against the luminous green of the tropical leaves.

The Scarlet Macaw, With talons thick and horny, And a beak as sharp as a hunter's knife; His plumage contrasting with other birds Like a firework against the blackness of night.

The Scarlet Macaw, Inquisitive, yet thoughtful, A bird of questioning without understanding; Capable of breaking one's stare with a piercing gaze From those bold, beady eyes.

The Scarlet Macaw, In flight swift and sure, On landing, precisely placing his claws, He tilts his head in questioning To the jungle world around him.

By Tammy Shadbolt, aged 12, who receives Penguin Modern Poets 1. Submitted by Joan Secombe of Bishop Luffa School, Chichester, who receives the Poetry Society's teacher's newsletter, a quarterly bulletin which includes features on innovative approaches to poetry in the classroom. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 4810.

While bringing this exotic bird dramatically to life, Tammy has given us something more than a piece of natural description. The structure of her poem is carefully balanced, the two short opening lines of each stanza fanning out into further musical developments, to give us not only a picture but a song.

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