Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Gmmm, Gmmm, Gmmm" quoth he

I am in a delicate state at 5 am, after a late evening yesterday. I was dreaming. I think it was pleasant. Then somewhere far away I hear a gentle "gmmm, gmmm, gmmm". Well, it's gentle at first till it grows louder, more insistent, more rhythmically precise. I am wide awake. It's not a dream. It goes on: "Gmmm, gmmm, gmmm". A pigeon. I spot him later in the day sitting on my terrace. He's a plump one too, strutting around as though he owns the place.

This time half awake. I hear the "gmmm, gmmm, gmmm". A pair of flapping wings. Some scraping feet. More wings. More feet. Wings, feet, wings, feet, wings, feet. Then thud, as something (a head?") hits my window. Wings. Pigeons wrestling.

Screaming, screeching, cawing, thrilled high-voiced, shrill. So excited to hear the sea even if I can't see it or smell it. Seagulls. You hear them often in London.

I am half awake. I hear a song, birdsong. A wonderful modulation, some kind of music I haven't heard before. A traveler from a foreign land speaking and singing in unknown tongues. He goes on for one cycle and then goes silent. I am awake and thrilled. The next day, the same, the same strange song. Again awake, pleased. The next day the same. Awake. The next day the same. Awake, annoyed? No, it doesn't feel right. How can I be annoyed? It's so beautiful. Day 5, ughh. Day 6, ahhh! Day 7, silence. The bird is gone. Day 8, silence. I miss him. Day 9, I hear him, in the distance, sitting on some other windowsill, as though saying, "I know where I'm wanted" or is he saying "I'm a traveller. I fly with the wind and seasons' whim."


Anonymous said...

Well, what a nice post!
My comment is not going to be as lyrical though, I just wanted to report that a few days ago I got the scare of my life when I woke up with a start hearing a repeated thumping sound against the door leading to my terrace, just like someone was trying to get in!
Don't know how I found the courage to go and see what was going on, but of course, it was just a really stupid seagull who had pooed all over my terrace, just next to the door. Ever seen a bird with dysentery? Disgusting, I know. Sorry for this comment, I just got up and turned my pc on, and haven't had my coffee yet. Will you ever forgive me?

Bombay Beauty said...

I know how you feel! Quite messy these little rogues. I have this debate with my father all the time. Are birds poetic creatures or do we poeticize them? Genetically, there is no doubt -- they are the closest descendants of dinosaurs and today most closely related to reptiles (have noticed those scaly feet? that both lay eggs?) But that songbird startled me...

OK -- hose down the terrace, have another coffee, and it will be ok!



Anonymous said...

Dear BB, thank you for understanding...
Well, I think that the ability to fly and the ability to sing would be good enough reasons to have poems written about reptiles too (if only they could fly, or sing, for that matter). Oh god, am I sounding confused? Again!??

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