Canto CX

So is this parallax or dialectic?
The parakeet I watch gathering berries,
its green plumage offset by council brick,

is likewise watched by two Brazilian ladies
that also try to take its photograph
amid the phone wires and skeletal branches.

For me it’s an exotic, bright relief
against the homely murk of the estate;
for them it’s a piece of their former life,

the fauna of their vibrant native state
amidst the wintry chill of their new home.
As we exchange accounts, the bird takes flight

as if it’s banished by attempts to frame
its essence through our mutual synthesis
of aspects that feel true but still can’t tame

the flighty thrill of its out of placeness.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nii Ayikwei Parkes
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 14:12:10

    nice! line 4/5 i’d break the sentence in two to avoid double also: ladies. / They too attempt to take… I don’t know how strict you’re being on stresses (the switch should work depending on your accent although I don’t think it’s elegant so…), but you’re interlocking like a dream!


  2. Niall O'Sullivan
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 14:19:25

    Went for “likewise” though it feels like two stresses so might get replaced again.


  3. Nii Ayikwei Parkes
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 14:39:47

    ah! fixing on that line gives you way more options too: you could go for ‘monitored by’, ‘scouted by’. There must be something as delicious as ‘contemplated by’ that won’t give you as many stresses although I can’t think what it might be!


  4. Niall O'Sullivan
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 14:46:09

    I don’t mind using “watched” twice, it keeps the lines less busy and emphasises the parallactic nature of the argument. Sort of…


  5. Nii Ayikwei Parkes
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 15:00:34

    I was thinking about the also – the watched was collateral damage, didn’t even notice! Man, I feel like the US army!!


  6. peter litton
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 00:44:53

    I feed these parakeets in my garden. I could be pedantic and say that these Ring Neck Parakeets originate from the Indian sub continent. I wont though, because I have been stuck on a poem about the very same birds for months. Instead I’ll just steal a few of your words and see if they inspire me.
    The last stanza and the couplet made for a great finish.


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