Epilogue – Part 2

Below is the second Poem in Joan’s series of 5 entitled Epilogue.  A snapshot of our time in the crypt and most importantly the people who may stepped into our underground world for a few fleeting hours……. Today: The Birdwatcher.

[In October – November 2011 Baz Productions put on Macbeth in the crypt of St Andrew Holborn with a cast of just five multi-tasking actors.]



After a performance of the Baz Macbeth five members of the audience gather up their props and reflect on the evening’s experience.


(slips binoculars off a hook on the wall)


Most of them are unobservant:

they see the birds they want to see.

Banquo, to flatter Duncan’s fervent

desire for ease and tranquillity

after the savagery of war,

points to martins that swoop and soar

as signs of summer’s sweetest breath

and healthful air. But night brings death.



Macbeth imbues loon and goose

with folly and fear: unjust abuse

of birds devoted to partner and chicks.

Not for them power politics.

Obsessed with corvids, Macbeth knows

you rarely find dead rooks or crows

or choughs or magpies, so he strives

to emulate their charmed lives.



Macduff’s wife knows her birds.

The wren, she says, will fight to save

her fledglings from the owl. But words

and wit for weapons aren’t enough

to defend the life of Lady Macduff.

Her scolding song, wren-brave,

assaults in vain deafened ears:

we struggle to hold back our tears.



Male wrens build several nests:

the females choose the cosiest.

Sir Christopher Wren built churches galore:

Baz chose this as appropriate for

a wintry play in chilly weather.

Companionably we huddle together.

The record for wrens is sixty-three

in one small box. How many are we?

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