Birds soar against the wind
Birds soar against the wind
Birds soar against the wind
“You two going to a dressing up party?” Alex asked his two acquaintances who he only really knew by name from college, Drew & Drake.
Drew & Drake were a great duo because of their names. Unfortunately for them and you dear reader, they weren’t Drew & Drake the calm, collected suave detectives two names like that would make just ultra cool! Nah. Drew & Drake were just two best mates who were unemployed who wore sweatpants because they’re comfortable. Neither were they a brand of whiskey though they often smelt like they were.
“Well?” Alex gestured with his palms open in question.
Drew spun around in his pink flamingo costume, “What?” He looked at Alex blankly.
Alex pointed to Drew which didn’t help Drew because Drew knew he was Drew.
Alex rolled his eyes, “The fucking costume!”
realisation crossed Drew’s face, “Oh, you could say that.” He nudged Drake.
Drake turned around in his penguin costume, “It’s sort of a party, yes.”
“Can I come?” Alex beamed.
Drew & Drake exchanged glances, Drews flamingo beak collided with Drake’s round penguin costume. “Don’t think it’ll be your scene,” Drake explained.
“Why not?” Alex crossed his arms and looked across the road with a petulant expression on his face.
“Because…” Drake’s face screwed up hard in concentration.
Drew nudged Drakes penguin costume.
“What?” Drake flapped.
Drew pointed down the road at the hearse, “Here he comes.”
Drake followed Drew’s finger and sighed.
“I guess it’s time to say goodbye,” Drew swallowed down a knot in his throat.
More people emerged, and Alex’s eyes had widened, “I wish I’d never asked. I’ll guess I’ll be going about my business!”
Drake shot him a glance, “Yea, mind your own business next time, we don’t even know you that well!”
“God put me here to ask you these questions, so I did, my question has been answered, but I only have…” He watched as the place swelled with yet more people dressed as parrots and penguins and a few budgies but mostly a sea of pink flamingos. “More questions,” His eyes narrowed as he crossed the road to get away from them.
The bells rang out like a weapon of soul destruction; humans having been primed to know it meant goodbye.
Alex watched the procession of pink and a few other colours here and there with a brow raised and a chuckle rising in his throat despite himself.
Cars rolled by and the passengers stared out the window wondering what on earth was going on, one driver who saw his wife’s perturbed face chortled and joked, “It’s global warming. All these birds are emigrating to strange places.”
As the pallbearer’s carried the coffin through a path, the sea of people created it looked even more surreal. The pallbearers were dressed in smart suits but had owl masks covering their faces.
Someone stopped by Alex to watch, his dog pulling on the lead. “What the…”
Alex turned to the stranger, “It’s certainly….” Alex scratched at the stubbed on his face with a perplexed look, “Something…”
The little dog barked at the crowd of people dressed strangely.
The stranger looked horrified, “I better go,” He started his face pale.
“I don’t think they’ll mind a dog barking….”Alex started to say but the man had swiftly shuffled away pulling his dog along as it kept turning around to yap at the procession outside the church doors.
The vicar stood at the front of a statue of Jesus on a cross, light came shimmering in through the coloured glass behind him.
“Frank was a…” The vicar rubbed a finger on his collar, “an eccentric,” He said as he looked out at the sea of faces and beaks. “Frank lived life to the full, and though he has gone now, he will forever be remembered as a humorous, genuine, kind man.” The vicar scanned the faces and beaks around his church, “There is a lesson that can be taught by this kind man and that is not to take life too seriously. He’s known for a few sayings like, “Your arse…ahem pardon my french, is at the bottom of you for a reason, it’s the last thing you put down!””
The mourners mumbled and nodded their heads.
“And, “Window cleaners are the spies you should be most afraid of.””
The mourners chuckled.
“And one of my favourites,” He peered over his glasses, “I must forewarn there is bad language here, but for the sake of respect I shall quote him exactly as he says it, “A fork in the road gives 3 choices. Either you choose one of the prongs, you go back, or you don’t use the fucking road.””
The crowd laughed once more, and Drake turned to Drew, “That’s our Frank.”
“That’s the Vicar!”
Drake shook his head and rolled his eyes, “No I meant…” He sighed, “nevermind!”
As they swarmed out of the churches gaping mouth and onto the pavement outside, ‘I like birds’ by the Eels played.
The bird on the wire
She hears the songs that transpire
Electricity in her feet
She’s the dinosaur
Extinction did not defeat
He’s drunk on the sly
He snatches another bite
Too many fermented apples
Don’t tell his wife, she thinks she’s the only apple of his eyes
She don’t know he’s not fit to fly
She’ll have a fit when she finds out
He’ll have spun ‘er a yarn or two
But that’s just like our Dave
The sheer cheek of ‘im
I love ‘im all the same.
Sit and listen to
The sound of the pitter patter
Like constant white noise
Asserting no significant attention
Just the buzz of human relations
Like the wings of a bee
Humming the language of nations
Industrious working of this socialisation
Working its way through the psyche
Of many generations
While clowns look to the clouds
With wisdom in their jest
And hearts of lions pounding in their chest
But noticing every freedom
Has it’s own cage
And seeing that maybe
As caged birds flaps their wings
Can a man surely dare to dream?
At the crack of dawn, he always wakes me up! “Look, Blake, I don’t want to wake up with Dawn’s arse crack in my face!” that’s how I sometimes respond, referring to the earliness of the hour. Bloody Dawn, she orchestrates a choir much too early for me come spring! But no, not for Blake. He’s up and ready, shaking me in the bed like, “Wakey, wakey! Rise and shine!” He opens the curtains revealing Dawn’s crack.
“It’s the best time to see all that life!” he beams and kisses me on the forehead. He’ll insist on going for a walk, he loves walking. But, let me make one thing clear about Blake, he walks like he’s floating. I don’t know what he does, but it’s like the land responds to his quiet step, and he tames it. The wildlife responds much the same way, for example, squirrels don’t chatter nervously and shake their bushy tails ready to pounce and run off up the trees. No, it’s like as Blake approaches the squirrel somehow knows, ‘he’s not threat to me, he’s a dear friend.’ The birds know it too, they don’t go off in a sudden flurry of flight. Sometimes he’s stopped walking, and I have continued on in my own world only to find him missing from my side when I turn around he’s stood there shaking his head and laughing at my ignorance.
“You had the chance to see so much life!” He’ll say walking or floating as he does towards me, “You’re what I call a bird plough,” He’ll put his hand on my shoulder and squeeze it reassuringly, “But so is so much of the human race!”
I always raise a brow at him like he’s insane. Initially, I meant it, now it’s just habit.
We’ll sit down at a bench, usually at his request. He’ll be sat there for ten minutes all calm and serene but by this time I’m usually ready to get up and walk some more, but he remains seated, and I ponder how he can sit still in the same spot for so long! Especially when he does it in the winter, or in early spring when it’s still cold as fuck, excuse my French.
“It’s a bit cold.” I’ll remark and start rummaging in my pocket for my gloves.
“Take note of the male Blackbird to the right of us, but be subtle about it.” He tells me eagerly.
I shift my eyes to the right, and there is Mr Blackbird perched precariously on a branch.
“Now take note of Mrs Blackbird ahead of us, a worm in its beak.”
I look ahead at the grassy verge, and Mrs Blackbird has a worm wriggling in its beak. I’d wonder to myself what relevance it had to anything. But, he’d just remain silent and just scanning the scene like he always does. I try to watch his gaze, but he can be very subtle about where he’s really looking. A woman with is pushing a pram with one hand while holding a phone to her ear with the other, and a kid running ahead of her. Occasionally she stops in her tracks, gesturing with her hands to some guy called Gary on the phone, who is, ‘pecking er ‘ead man!” Their obliviousness to those that surrounded them sent both Mrs and Mr Blackbird flying away, to which Blake turns to me and says, “Bird plough.”
I roll my eyes, “You can hardly blame her!” I shook my head, “A kid running lose, a baby and someone on the phone!”
He smiles, “So what’s your excuse?”
Bloody git he is! But he’s my git, and though I roll my eyes at him nearly every minute of every day. He can be mildly irritating, but isn’t everyone? Plus there is a side to him only I actually see, though it’s not a happy sight I’m afraid. See the thing about Blake is, he has the most intense bouts of depression I’ve ever seen. He deals with it by using humour and watching the birds.
I’m just saying all this because, well, I’m about to marry him and well, I guess I must really love him! Because I’m currently dressed as a flamingo. Yes, I didn’t take it seriously when he said to me, “Wouldn’t it be surreal to get married dressed as ostriches or flamingos?”
I said it would be surreal and laughed. But now here I am, and I’m still marrying the bleeding git!