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The Birdman of Beaubourg

Hunched upon humped back,

buried grin in grizzle beard,

in a crumpled streaky olive coat,

the Beaubourg bird man, like a dove,

stands alone amidst the Zen of birds.


Each wanders up, one-by-one,

cautiously wanting, uncaringly needy,

hungering towards something that he’s got:

either the seed or crumb.


Wings on wings all gathering,

frizzled, lustless, wanton, bald,

with a woman’s charity of smiles

he gives out pieces of himself.


O, wise fool—

O, sad old clown—


Now, by the birds, you have drawn a crowd,

lookers wondering at strange art


perhaps to help us ask ourselves 

why we stopped.


It is not that we should pity him, I think.

It is not that he left the world, our own, behind.


It is when the ones who give so much

leave so little for themselves

that it is hard.


It is a suggestion to us all.


Find a friend when at your most alone,

and give like this.


At least the birds won’t let you down.

Posted 08/13/14
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