Mixed Messages poem #1: ‘Japanese Cranes’


Origami birds, South Bank, London, July 2016

Now featuring an audio recording of Ellie McKay reading ‘Japanese Cranes’. With thanks to Colin Waters and the Scottish Poetry Library for sound engineering and hosting on their SoundCloud page.

Japanese Cranes

Do you remember when

we folded paper cranes?

Folded paper into Japanese cranes.

I wish I could still believe

in the efficacy of my fingers,

folding, smoothing, opening

without thinking.


I wish I could still believe

but I can do nothing

and all that I can think

is that I have not yet learned

to write last letters.


Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting the poems that have been found nestling in (or in this case nesting in) the voicemails, texts, emails and tweets that have been sent in to the Mixed Messages project.

Missed our original call for contributions? Catch up with the project aims here.


3 thoughts on “Mixed Messages poem #1: ‘Japanese Cranes’

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