This is the bird that hangs on a thread from the study window and looks out over the back garden. If not the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, then its close familiar; crude, perhaps, if compared to a living bird, but expressive of something. It has been put together from flotsam and jetsam scraps of material, wire, twigs and feathers from the natural world. On its breast is a red flower (plastic) and a sequin, which catches the light. It is ready for something. Look at those antennae, the blush of pink at the base of the tail feather, the raised wings and the splayed feet. From day to day, no-one sees it but me. If I don't project some measure of hope and joy onto its brittle frame, how can it live at all? And doesn't it deserve to? Perhaps not (perhaps nothing does?) but I won't be the one to put it in black bin bag hell with all the unredeemed clutter. If I say it is alive, then it is. And I do say it.