| Sonnet

To me nothing of the pigeon is alien:
Not the dowdy-frocked provisioning of crumbs
from squabbles of anywhere-asphalt,
Nor the grate-huddled pub-going with its warm updraft
and the disappearance of wings,
Nor the chimerical walk, at once cocky and sheepish,
Of one not sure whether to wait at tables
or to play basketball;
And least of all the dirty-dappled span
of many-coat splendour,
Of churchmouse grey and sewer-habit brown,
of city-choked dove-black
And, rarely, a throat-catching white that dumbly sounds
of bells, and patriarchs, and a world apart.

Let eagles scrape the firmament and fall
like hammers to anvils,
To nightingales yield their Attic-tongued dignity
and to jays their brassy indignation,
But let us not neglect to make our offerings
to domestic genii
Nor to be stopped, on a blear-skied mild November day,
At the sudden flash-winged ecstasy of pigeons
tremoring an unaccustomed pool.


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