I’ve found a nest inside my head
where the worries live. They take turns
to exercise their wings, peck at me,
wake me at 4am with their tuneless song.
The fabric of the nest is woven tight
with strands of hopelessness and guilt,
its sides smeared with cement,
one part hope and two parts fear.
The Crested Woodpecker of woe
is just now knocking on my skull,
reminding me I am no younger
and the attic still needs cleared.
Ian McDonough was brought up on the East Coast of Sutherland in the North of Scotland. He has published four poetry collections, most recently A Witch Among The Gooseberries (Mariscat 2014). His work has appeared widely, including Poetry Review, Acumen, Times Educational Supplement, Physics Review, New Writing Scotland and The Scotsman. When not writing he works in Edinburgh as a mediator and conflict trainer.