Pigeon Poem…

And now here’s a poem I wrote this morning in a sun-drenched street café, inspired by my painting of last week (I shall be reading this out at The Rio Café in Partick on Monday night if anyone wants to hear it live):

PIGEON INDUSTRIAPigeon Industria-by Douglas Thompson-200714

Seagulls are the souls of dead sailors
my father was told
by war-hardened old tars at sea
Then what about pigeons?

They guard my city’s discarded warehouses
and chimneys like feathery ghosts
prefiguring their own arrival with
the perpetual whistling of wings
their lungs expelling throaty hoots
as living bellows that once fanned
the flames of furnaces and flickered
spark-like through blacksmiths’ dreams
besmirching roof trusses and girders
circumscribing with their flight
the bold geometry of stations and bridges

An army of dead men built my city
for slaves wages mired in sweat and blood
and in my mind their grey overalls transmute
as lead into gold into these pink-eyed harbingers
of futurity, whose dowdy feathers hide a multitude
of iridescent hues as rainbows after rain
the tradesmen’s grandchildren walking
the same cobbled streets now gentrified
and scrubbed up in multi-coloured T-shirts.

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