Saturday, 27 June 2009

MULTIPLY Writing Prompt #21: Memories of Childhood: The Birdman

Once upon a time there was a street.
Not just concrete, lamp posts and houses.
The street had a living soul
In the days gone bye in London
When electricity was just an idea waiting to be discovered
The houses were not dark
Their gas lamps showed the quivering flames
Shadows of past lives
Men on their way to work
Women tending to their household
Children left in the street to play
Under the watchful eyes of their mothers from a distance
Nothing to fear, doors were unlocked
What was there to take from these people of time gone bye
Nothing, they had nothing, but were happy
No worries of the house being contaminated
By intervention from a foreign source
All was safe, all was secure

People grew together in the street
A respectful distance was kept
But all knew everyone
Time passed, the gas replaced by electricity
People dying, being born, moving away, moving in
The development of man’s nature

Then the birdman arrived, keeper of the pigeons
No-one knew where from
He was just there, arrived one day with his wife
He was not young, he was never old
He was Harry, no, he was ‘Arry
He was from there where the others came
Using the language without the “h”
Those Londoners knew the language
and accepted the language

Oh how I remember the days with neighbour 'Arry
We had sparrows, we had pigeons
Others never survived in the dirt and fumes of the London streets
'Arry had his own pigeons
They were trained pigeons
In his small yard at the back of his house
The pigeons were kept
Twenty, Thirty, Fifty
Who knows how many
But the birds knew home
The slept in their little cages
They had no wishes, but to fly
And ‘Arry let them fly
Released into the London skies every day
The cages were opened and they left the safety of their homes
They flew in circles, flew in lines, flew far
Did they return?

‘Arry’s wife had a dog, a little dog
She loved her little dog
Early mornings she would leave the home
Arose from her bed
A bite to eat, a cup of tea
And she departed with the dog
In the quiet streets of London
Still dressed in her nightdress
Covered with her dressing gown
Just roaming the streets with her little dog
The neighbours saw her
Some others saw her, but she did not care
Her dog went walking and she proudly by his side
And everyone knew it was 'Arry’s wife
Did she have a name, of course
All creatures have names, be it dog or bird
But she had a particular name, it was Rose

So Rose and ‘Arry lived happily together
In their little attached house in the row of houses
In the little square of houses
with their pigeons and dog.

Did the pigeons come home
'Arry would take the bag of bird food in his old and weathered hands
He would shake the bag
A noise of seeds crashing against seeds in a paper bag
And ‘Arry said Come’on, come’on
The pigeons heard the call from afar
“Feeding time” they sensed
And they winged their way over the London rooftops
Over the small green patches of backyards
Overtaking the automobiles and buses
on the crowded London roads
Until they were home
Each one arrived and 'Arry counted them
Proud of his brood of pigeons
They were racers, homing pigeons
Won many competitions
But ‘Arry got old and so did Rose
Then one day in that quiet little old street
with the very old houses in London
There were no pigeons
'Arry was no longer there with his Rose
The house was no longer there
And the pigeons had left
Time passes on, childhood vanishes into oblivion
But a few memories remain
Mine being the Birdman of the street where I lived
And his wife Rose

Writing Prompt #21

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