Sunday, 6 February 2011

About a bird (or two)

[A fourty-four year-old body skips up Mellstock Avenue
just like it skipped down Mellstock Avenue
holding it’s mother’s hand
when it was a four year-old body.]

[I say "just like" ...
I mean, obviously the body is bigger and bulkier
but it is the same choreography
the same dance step;
the spring in each is the same joy;
a memory of how to make joyousness
imprinted onto it's flesh.]

For a moment I am insanely happy for no reason;
I try to think of a reason:
certainly I have every reason for being happy
(the boiler man only charged me twenty-five quid for a call-out)
but also every reason for being sad
(I just split up with my Very Attractive Girl-friend – quite possibly the prettiest girl I ever dated)

Somehow none of the reasons it can think of provide
sufficient explanation for my mood;

Glancing upwards at the dull grey 4 oclock clouds
plausibly seeking an answer from somewhere
outside itself
I gasp:

a huge multi-faceted flock of some bird
suddenly filling the February sky
as far as the next street on each side
coming together
breaking apart
composed of vast sub-flocks
a myriad of flapping nodes refract in all directions
while becoming the same direction
waves on a choppy sea
perhaps orchestrated by a professor of mathematics
they deliberately attempt to explicate
the principles of complexity theory

[It skips a little faster and little higher]
then I notice the adolescent girl
coming down the street towards me
and remembering fourty-four
[it slows into a brisk walk].

Probably
like your drunk uncle at a wedding
(drunk on being)
[in his mind he is dancing majestically
but he looks ridiculous
to everyone
else].

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