Lindsay Macgregor

A graduate of the University of St. Andrews, Lindsay Macgregor has an MA in Medieval History and a Ph.D in the Norse Settlement of Shetland and Faroe. She started writing poetry at the Fife Maggie’s Centre in 2009 and went on to complete an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee. In 2015, she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award.

Lindsay lives near Cupar and co-hosts Platform, a regular poetry and music night at Ladybank Station. Her pamphlet, The Weepers, is published by Calder Wood Press.


Why the Caged Bird Sings


Because he’s not promiscuous,
so ornithologists insist,
the bullfinch has the tiniest of testes
found on any passerine
and sings a song that’s dull
to any but the female of his species
(who, apparently, adores it).

Because his song is not innate,
a forester in Austria with an empty
cage and fine hemp seed
can steal an unfledged male from
any blackthorn hedge and teach him
with his flageolet to trill
Thou Art So Like A Flower
and other pretty Chopin preludes.

Because he loves his forester
so well (admittedly, the forester’s
affectionate), the bullfinch practises
religiously, fifteen times each day
for half a year, to better serenade
his man in counterpoint.

Because the forester is only human,
he sells his tuneful bird
to a woman for a song (she wants him
for her drawing room).

Because the bullfinch cannot be promiscuous
he doesn’t have the heart.

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