In 2016 Paul released ‘Birding makes me better’ a charity publication of art and poetry in collaboration with illustrator Laura Alice, and supported by WE ARE, Wakefield ArtWalk, Wakefield Beer Exchange and Catch a Falling Star. This collection of Paul’s own poems, alongside drawings by a local artist, is focused on the positive impact of nature, and particularly bird watching, on mental wellbeing. They touch on Paul’s own experiences and journey within mental health.
Lean green drilling machine,
Woody woody woodpecker of cider label fame.
Reputation precedes you son
We can hear you before we can see you come
Vibrato staccato rat a tat tat
Pea green jacket and cherry red hat
Not blue and white like the cartoon and that
But British and proper as a willow cricket bat
Lesser spotted though its true
We know all about you
I can hear I can hear you – but where are you ?
Black head, bright and bulged and blushed and rosé chest
Redder than a robin, and the rest
The bullfinch graces the garden feeder with colourful zest
So is the bullfinch bullish? His puffed pink posturing a flush of anger?
The other birds flick and flit when he’s on it
So – bellicose, boastful, and brash?
No, belying his garish colours and bright crimson flash
He sounds out a sad note like a sonnet
He seems to sing a song of love long gone
A rhapsody of regret filled with melancholy yet;
Still, enchants us all, with his mournful call.