Goodbye by Featured Poet – Alicia Hayden

When the swifts screech in September,
It is with some sadness,
For they are calling
Goodbye / farewell / we will see you next year
Their return to Africa is bittersweet,
Signaling the return of Winter –
Cold days and warm blankets
Hugging you tight like scarves.
But it also is a promise –
Not so much as a goodbye,
As an assurance that
we will come back next year.



Poem and drawing by Alicia Hayden, April 2021


I am an award-winning poet and artist from North Yorkshire, with a degree in Biology from Oxford University, and a love of wildlife and the natural world.

I think it is important to use creative writing and the arts to showcase the beauty of nature, and why we need to protect it; and this inspired me to create and self-publish my first, illustrated wildlife poetry book “Rain before Rainbows” in 2020, of which 50% of profits go to the wildlife hospital Tiggywinkles.

My poem “Leopard” won WWF’s My True Nature under 18s poetry competition in 2011, and my poem “Vulnerable to Extinction” won Prickles & Paws’ poetry competition of the same name in 2021. I was awarded the inaugural Ingrid Beazley Award for winning the Human Impact category in David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021, for my piece “When the Whale Sang”, which accompanies my poem “The Whale’s Song”.






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