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Some days I imagine it might really happen:

an orifice oozing with ectoplasm,

Dorises with messages that we can’t fathom;

transmigration’s been the fashion since ages ago

when Buddhists could make it to the sixth Bardo

or lose their many selves in Limbo.

You don’t think so?

Of course, it’s never on the news, YouTube or Skype,

not the kind of repeats you see on both sides

but something caught in the corner of an eye.


Like shortly after my sister-in-law passed on

my wife sat outside a Melbourne restaurant

where they’d fitted this special netting

to protect the food from birds pecking.

Yet a bird of one species, reputed to be shy,

had gained entrance and fed at a table nearby.

Then back home when she took our dog and children

to a play park in West Malvern, England,

the birds went mad, chattering, swooping,

flying off at crazy angles and then regrouping,

spooking the dog who found its way inside the park,

climbed the steps of the slide, slid down and barked.

Her sister loved birds. My wife loves birds.

Quod erat demonstrandum – the truth is revealed in tandem.


Now, nobody would think of me as spiritual,

it’s the kind of thing I’ve always ridiculed;

but assuming that I drop dead first

I’m planning to come back as a bird. 

A bird who’d be useful to my wife,

but I can’t decide which one would be right

to express my love and gratitude,

not just scare dogs and steal food.

A peacock, perhaps, but all those eyes

are likely to make her paranoid;

a songbird to soothe her when she’s restless,

a chicken to lay her eggs for breakfast;

a mynah to call her mind to attention

when she’s perched on the brink of dementia.

Rook or raven, chaffinch, she likes a chat;

a cock – she’s probably had enough of that.

Penguins have always made her laugh

and when she’s bored I could be a lark;

starlings, sparrows, robins,  pigeons;

I’m not used to making decisions,

so I left the final word to the missus

and asked her what bird I reminded her of,

what to come back as when I’ve shuffled off?

Straight from the neck she said Albatross.





◄ Fixated Threats

Study Day on Attachment ►


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