Submitted by Editor on Mon, 11/10/2021 - 10:59

If you find yourself on the path between Five Ways Junction and Lower Granton Road anytime soon, whap oot your smartphone and hae a wee swatch at this sign by the entrance to East Trinity Road Tunnel.

The QR code links to a spoken poem: ‘No Birds Land’, by Tamsin Grainger.

It’s about birds: their song, their chirps and chirrups, their presence or disturbing absence in this echoing drip-lined passage.

It is distinctly odd. Stuttering. Repetititve. Alliterative. Bird-ish. Occasionally squawky.

And its theme is echoed in a catenary of bunting attached to old signalling fixtures along one side of the walls.


The message boils down to this: ‘In the two minutes it takes you to walk through this tunnel, two pairs of breeding birds will have disappeared. (Source: BirdLife.org.)’ It could as well be extended to human cultures, subcultures, and languages.

The poem – available here since the summer – is best experienced in situ. But for those who can’t reach it in person, this link will fly you there.

Listen to the birds!


[With thanks to @lenniesaurus.]