Friday, July 4, 2008

Chance Encounter

The Sunday Scribblings prompt is "chance encounter". This is not a new poem. It was absolutely true to the facts when I wrote it. I could also add that, in a chance encounter with "our" peacock, a raccoon almost lost his tail and slunk fearfully out of the back yard. The neighbors objected to the "raucous cries" so, reluctantly, we called the pound. The man from the pound came to our home with a large wire trapping cage which he baited. We were to call him when the trap was sprung.

Instead of being tempted by the allure of carefully chosen peacock goodies, the peacock took up residence on top of the cage. He slept there for the rest of what must have been the mating season, then left as suddenly as he had appeared, leaving only a yard full of tail feathers. We have never seen him again.

THE FERAL PEACOCK
Regally he paces into view --
step, then pose, then step --outside our room,
small imperious head with swept-back plume
balanced on its column of shocking blue.

He wears his wedding raiment, trailing train
or iridescent satin, feathered sheen
of circlets -- emerald, sapphire, turquoise green
on shifting bronze and gold. We tap the pane.

His strident outcry penetrates out walls,
pierces our minds, awakens memory
of gothic tales, estates that used to be.
What is it he demands with raucous calls?

His hens? He was alone when he appeared
and claimed our unkempt yard, small urban stage.
Wide lawns of empire lost, another age
when he could strut and preen and never feared

the thorny vines that strip each nether quill?
Shrill, he summons his retinue. Who comes?
We lean past garbage pails and toss him crumbs,
sole loyal subjects who obey him still.

25 comments:

Lirone said...

Enjoyed this. It reminded me very much of a song by Ravel about a peacock... similarly all dressed for his wedding!

If you'd like to check it out, here are the words and here's a link to a recording on youtube.

Steve said...

i like it!

keith hillman said...

A lovely poem Granny and what a beautiful pic of a beautiful bird. I was chased by a peacock once and I kept a wide berth ever since!

DJPare said...

great stuff!

What a bird!

danni said...

peacocks are so elegant and stately, it's hard to picture them feral --- i liked especially the image of you tossing crumbs as if you were his subjects - very striking!!!

Greyscale Territory said...

O peacock stories! I had 2 peacocks. One was called Lancelot and the other was Zanzibar. Both were so elegant, but Lancelot was quite possessive. He would follow me like a dog. But when I was away for a couple of days, as I stepped out of the car, he promptly attacked my arm with his spur! He was not happy! Nor was I!

Loved your posting!

Liza's Eyeview said...

Peacocks are fascinating. I like your poem a lot. Very well done, a fine documentary of a chance encounter with a peacock :)

latree said...

peacock is a true elegance, isn't it?

href="http://stories-of-la.blogspot.com/"> my SS

anno said...

They are glamorous birds, with defiantly "strident" voices. Who can resist? Your poem captures their allure just perfectly.

Robin said...

I love your description of his appearance.

We stumbled on a peacock in our neighborhood once. I've always wondered what it was doing there.

rebecca said...

hmmm? i wonder where he came from and where he left to? they are such beautiful birds and no other word suits them more perfectly than "regal."

Devil Mood said...

I wonder where it went and where it came from. I think all the peacocks I saw belonged to certain places and didn't go out travelling. Must have been one special visitor to you :)

Tammy said...

Peacock males are beautiful and you captured it wonderfully here. My aunt had 6 of them and they can be annoyingly loud. ;)

Beth said...

I enjoyed the "step and pause" rhythm of the peacock's walk, as well as the echoes of "royal" and "loyal" (nice twist at the end, taking us all back to modern times). What a lovely fanciful poem!

Patois said...

Brilliant, Granny! I love your calling it "his wedding raiment." What a wonderful image.

We have many peacocks not far away from us. You're warned when you buy your home, so no complaints allowed.

Lucy said...

your description of this regal creature is so captivating. I can't imagine one strolling into my yard, How unusual that he would show up and then never return. Maybe he chose YOU Granny, knowing you would capture his essence in such a beautiful poem. :))

gautami tripathy said...

marvellous post. Love the photo!

defining boundaries

Michele said...

Lovely! You have a way with words.
And, I like knowing that peacock got away.

arboleda said...

that is lovely!

Lilibeth said...

What a king and all so proud...where did he get the attitude? one wonders. Does he really know how beautiful he is...and how does he realize that that is something to be proud of? It really makes you stop and think.

CHEFDRUCK said...

I love how clever the peacock was and how he taunted the neighbors by hanging out on the cage!

Michelle said...

Granny - you inspire... someday I hope to be so lucky as to see a peacock in the wild and respond in like kind!

Reader Wil said...

What a lovely poem and the peacock is so precious with all those colours of jewelry.

Just Jen said...

he slept on top! that is one smart bird! they are loud aren't they? at least you got some beautiful feathers for memory sake.
We had a swan once in much the same fashion. stayed all mating season before flying off, never to be seen again. loved to sleep on top of an old abandoned dog house...lol
your poem is great, describes a peacock perfectly!

OneMoreBeliever said...

hi granny... yes, the shrill cry can be rather annoying.. awesome description of his wedding rainment... tho they have beautiful feathers they are rather strange birds... enjoyed his comings and goings...