Thursday, April 21, 2016

When Doves Cry

This children’s nursery rhyme still sticks in my mind
Long after I heard it as a child in the sixties for the first time:

“Birds of a feather flock together- so do pigs and swine.
Rats and mice will have their slice, and so will I have mine.”

In Hollywood, pigeons eek out hard-scrabble lives in the shade.
They fling their wings, well-worn where movies are made.
Privileged doves are let go at the occasional funeral parade.
Otherwise they stay cooped up in roosts while other plans are laid.

“Where shall we go next?” they cry.  “Where shall we sleep tonight?”
“Will we have some bread today?” and, “Why is he so white?”
These are the pure ones, which seem so elusive, so high.
Symbols of the Holy Spirit with the power to soar the sky above
And conquer gravity with a prayer for joy, and peace, and love.

So, when you see a dove, remember that a pigeon is not so far above that you cannot hear it.
All things must pass and we are all going to let go one day, so why all the rush to fear it?
All the pointed guns stood out like old words, oiled by the anointed ones now flush with Fool’s gold.  Is it a stool pigeon that feigns a broken flight?  Or a homing pigeon that Always returns at night?  Should we pigeon-hole an institution as fallible and gullible? Or shall we stand, flamingo-like on one leg and bury our heads in the sand with an ostrich egg?

Of course the owl is always wise; he’ll remind us to close our eyes
To foul weather, bones and feathers; shell accounts and tax-free havens.
Cardinals trump the cranes and loons; hawks mind the crows and ravens.
But double eagles are twice the fun as the Three Blind Mice on the run...

In other words, "Life is for the Birds." Swallows and swifts, finches and twits.
Every egret regrets every day it sits; every albatross carries the weight of its cross.
Every sparrow is beholden to the golden sun, and each eye of the peacock has seen loss.
The blue jay, the robin, the night-jar, the thrush; the hummingbird and the starling,
Who would have thought that this bird of paradise would be gone so soon,  my darling.

“This is what it sounds like when doves cry.” --Prince

In honor of artist known as Prince. 
Written on 4-20-2016