The Jackdaw Files

The Jackdaw Files Seahorse Publications, 2022
76 pages, £10
ISBN 978-1-7399883-6-4

In the spring and summer of 2021, a pair of jackdaws created a nest in a hole in the wooden cladding outside and above the bedroom window of Graham and Helen Fulton's flat in Paisley. They laid eggs and hatched a family. At first they were a nuisance, but quickly became an entertaining and comfortable presence. Birds and humans learned to exist side by side; create an understanding about being alive.

In this superb collection, a pair of jackdaws build a nest and hatch their young in a 'gash in one of the wooden panels'. Fulton unfolds events with deadpan humour, some visceral descriptions, and an unerring eye for concrete detail in this series of short lyrics. He expertly weaves in details from everyday life, and uncanny observations from the streets of Paisley and beyond and never once assumes the affection that emerges for 'Jack and Jill' is reciprocated ('they don't give a toss/if I'm here or not'). Indeed, Jack's voice is not one to be messed with. These poems explore the relationship between humankind and nature in an urban environment with wit, craft, profundity, and warmth in an immensely satisfying and positive evocation of nature and new life.'

Andy Breckenridge, poet

This tragic and seemingly never ending covid bourach which we have all endured has undoubtedly left us all with memories which in these two short years we could never have envisaged the consequences. Some of us will find a way to express those creatively but none more so than Graham Fulton who through the seemingly ordinary observations of two feathered visitors, intruders in his lockdown space has poetically woven the ordinary with the extraordinary. He draws us easily into a deliberately incisive and emotional adventure which with Graham's usual inimitable perception laced with an enviable dry humour infused personality is one I thoroughly recommend setting out on. This is exceedingly well-crafted poetry.'

Jim Mackintosh, poet

With characteristic dry wit, secateur sharp observations, self-deprecation and a blend of pathos, bathos and wonder at the everyday absurdities around us, Graham Fulton charts an unrequited relationship with a pair of nesting jackdaws, revelling in mundane mysteries, potential omens and revealing that 'everything is not what it seems'.

Bob Beagrie, writer

Graham Fulton Poetry From Scotland