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Pascale Petit: a poem

Photograph by Brian Fraser

Green Bee-eater

More precious than all

the gems of Jaipur –

the green bee-eater.

If you see one singing


with his space-black bill

and rufous cap,

his robes

all shades of emerald

like treetops glimpsed

from a plane,

his blue cheeks,

black eye-mask

and the delicate tail streamer

like a plume of smoke –

you might dream

of the forests

that once clothed

our flying planet.

And perhaps his singing

is a spell

to call our forests back –


by tree

by tree.

Pascale’s eighth collection, Tiger Girl, published by Bloodaxe in 2020, won an RSL Literature  Matters Award while in progress. Her seventh collection Mama Amazonica, published by Bloodaxe in 2017, won the Royal Society of Literature’s 2018 Ondaatje Prize. Four of Pascale’s earlier collections were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. In 2018 she was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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