True Builders by Lizzie Ballagher



A published novelist between 1984 and 1996 in North America, the UK, Australasia, Netherlands and Sweden (pen-name Elizabeth Gibson), Lizzie Ballagher now writes poetry rather than fiction. Her work has been featured in a variety of magazines and webzines: Nine Muses, Nitrogen House, the Ekphrastic Review, South-East Walker Magazine, Far East, and Poetry Space.  

 She lives in southern England, writing a blog at

























When men & their machines

have tramped, thumped away,

then the true builders return

with stick       straw

& splinter of bark

clenched tenderly in claw.


When chopping axe & chainsaw

have stopped their cacophony,

then the true builders return

for moss & leaf, feather, fur, fluff

& discarded down

pinched tightly in beak


& set with care in twig-clefts

            to rock:

            little arks in weeks

of spring-gale seas,

yet strong to hold



                        & speckled eggs;

            to boast birdsong,

fledglings with mouths wide open:

more beaks, more claws


to build again—

            & build again

                        & build again.



Lizzie Ballagher


Blackcurrants by Lizzie Ballagher

Fieldfares by Lizzie Ballagher

New Build Poems and Stories