Matt Bryden 2019 ©

A colourful little parrot

lands on my elementary yellow hat. 

I never thought he would die, 

he is winged. 

I can’t catch him even though my hands rise high. 

He became rigid that winter. 

At four o’clock

the pale yellow light

makes people sad. 

My first pet. 

I felt he loved me deeply; 

he listened to my call, 

flew to me after school. 

I used rolls to make a little coffin, 

dug several soup-spoons deep; 

buried him close to the trees 

where we talked. 

The trees are now parking spaces. 

I grow up gradually, 

wave my own wings, 

though I am past flying.


Modern Poetry in Translation, Transitions, Series 3 Number 18

The Desire to Sing after Sunset, my translation of Taiwanese poet Ami with interpreter Ingrid Fan, appeared in a print run of 1,000 copies in October 2013. Poems and translations are presented with facing texts illustrated throughout by Ami’s artwork.

This short documentary by Tebello Rose explains the collaboration.

Copies can be purchased here or drop me an e-mail.