Set all the birds free

Quirky birds

Rediscover (and reappropriate) the spirit of Christmas, courtesy of UA Fanthorpe and the Quaker Tapestry

From the 'Ecology' panel

From the ‘Ecology’ panel


Dear True Love

Leaping and dancing

Means to-ing and fro-ing;

Drummers and pipers –

Loud banging and blowing;

Even a pear-tree

Needs space to grow in.


Goose eggs and gold top

When I’m trying to slim?

And seven swans swimming?

Just where could they swim?


Mine is a small house,

Your gifts are grand;

One ring at a time

Is enough for this hand.


Hens, colly birds, doves –

A gastronome’s treat.

But love, did I tell you,

I’ve given up meat.


Your fairy-tale presents

Are wasted on me.

Just send me your love

And set all the birds free.

by UA Fanthorpe, 1929-2009

One of an annual series of poems illustrated by Nick Wadley, published as Christmas Poems, Enitharmon Press 2002.

Set to music by Australian Quaker Tony Noakes see

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