Sunday, February 27, 2011


This junction of a cycle path and a footpath saw a lot of traffic,

both feet and wheels, and a lot of bell-ringing near-collisions.

Now, the flock of birds that made their home in the giant tree

towering over this intersection became so used to the chime

of the bicycle bells that it became part of their language.

They spoke it fluently, like natives, even reproducing that

dissonant metallic reverb that truncates the traditional trill.

None could tell it apart from the real thing. And so, in the quieter

moments of earliest morning or perhaps of dusk you might see

a pedestrian twirl around in fright, head swivelling frantically,

sure that at least five angry cyclists were approaching so fast

as to be nearly already on top of him. But in fact there were

no cyclists and the ear-jostled victim would walk on flummoxed.

What is this? Mischief? Such was the ventriloquism of those

birds that no human ever solved the mystery, not one ever even

looked upwards. I knew, of course, but then I’m one of those birds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really touching poem, been thinking about it for the last couple of days, found it very musical as well.