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Sport 38: Winter 2010

The Pigeon History

page 212

The Pigeon History


Before ___ came was exactly
like ___ island ___ now, see
___ bird life, see ___ flora

see, flower ___ seed. Before
___ came this was ___ blank state,
___ grew faster, things happened

___ can guess because ___ lizard told ___ so,
because ___ air had ___ different ratio,
because ___ building blocks ___ all there.

Before ___ came, before ___ ___
___ breath before arrival, just ___ leap
from ___ plane, ___ green below
only ___ smudge ___ ocean, nothing to see
nothing to aim ___.

page 213


Turtles take their time to procreate.
People like to watch the advance
up the beach, the place chosen, a hole
dug. The turtles leave immediately
back to the sea, never witnessing the final miracle.

The audience is moved by their people-movers
back to their people-places.
No one is around for the emergence—
a single tooth piercing the eggshell,
tiny flippers digging up and out then dark shapes
hauling ass for the surf. The experts don't know

where they go next—one hypothesis is
the turtle camouflages herself
in drifting kelp forests, rides the currents, consuming whatever
floats past. Decades later
she returns to the same beach, the same nest
a series of hard lives etched on the shell.

page 214


This involved a period of
war, not unlike

the initial period but differing with respect
to the sides who fought, this time

they had no respect and decided
to call each other names starting

and ending with T.
At the time

the ring-leader said 'the error is
—and between the lines—

our ability to justify an end.'
I would like to now solidify

with specific examples, like the arch-enemies
who resisted an invasion of what they saw

as their land, were killed for it
by arch-enemies who saw it

differently. Overall this period
was prosperous and the majority

went about their business, or at least
undertook transactions quietly.

page 215


We came out of the grass and shook hands.
This was the logic of the time. The old chap
threw his hat in the air and shot at it,
missing. One of the other fullas plucked a wood pigeon,
made a spit out of two musket barrels and propped it up
with cannon balls. Just a bit of fun eh boys?
roared the old chap, throwing an empty flagon over his shoulder.
The other fullas were getting nervous and threw grass.
Stay on boys, said the old chap down to his breeches,
we're just getting started. His white hair
had come loose at the sides so it hung to his shoulders.
I saw one fulla slide a blade from his belt and another
thumb the cock on his musket.

And that's when Jesus arrived.
I noticed him propped against a tree, his arms folded
like he was waiting for an invitation. You right there brother?
I said. For sure, for sure, he said mysteriously
clasping another fulla's shoulder like an old mate.
I've come to talk to you all, he said addressing the regiment.
Everyone dropped what they were doing
except for the one guy manning the spit.

First things first, he said, I came here to eat, and you, all,
shall be eaten. That's when someone pulled a trigger,
the ball hitting Jesus right between the eyes, dropping him
like a goat. The old chap woke up with a bang, where's the pigeon at?
We all collapsed on the ground, holding our sides with laughing.
I think someone buried Jesus. I don't know where 'cause I was tucking
into some top-grade pigeon. The body disappeared anyway,
no one talked about it. It was like Jesus was never there.

page 216


This is where the narrative began
although, inside his wired tongue
it resembled the ending

where a child was born and all
was resolved with only
a brief period of bloodshed

and the sacrifice
was itself not entirely
a negative result.

This is why dialogue appeared:
to lighten the mood and achieve

hot breath on lips, nose pinched,
ear to chest, three sharp outtakes—
if he is practiced and the patient is strong

life will sputter back
out of their mouth will come
blood or water or light from a cave.

What happened next
went down in history
as a short pass to the blindside

where waiting on the flank
was man with a round beard
and round glasses, a round face,

he caught it mid-stream, middle aged,
flowering on the big screen.