Claws For The Weekend: Foul-Mouthed And Feathered

My favourite article that I’ve read this week was about officials reacting to a complaint of an African grey parrot that sits in the window of a house in York and shouts out to passers-by “Show us your knickers!” or “Wanker!”

The owner’s landlady has been threatened with eviction if this behaviour continues, which would be a fowl thing to do.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Make sure you don’t end up before the beak. See you on the flip side.

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No Man’s Land; No Man Knows

And still, the no man’s land between summer and autumn.

The green foliage hangs heavy, but the odd leaf is beginning to turn.

What’s a guy to do, when travelling to watch a local non-league team?

The sun is still there, but sinking, diluted.

Is it too warm for a coat, or too cold for a jumper?

Just bring on winter and we’ll all know where we stand.

Dead Bird

from my poetry blog

Coronets For Ghosts

Dead Bird

The kids are fascinated by the varying states of putrefaction.
Every morning we pause, compare it to yesterday's
studied image.
"Where have it's eyes gone? Have they sunk into its skull?"

Half-covered by an overnight shroud of autumn leaves,
provoking a conflict of opinion.
The girl thinks it should be buried out of decency,
the boy eager to glimpse its surfacing skeleton.

Every day its stomach is drawn in, the ribs rising.
Then this morning, stunned: the bird is gone,
perhaps removed by a conscientious council worker.
The boy thinks that it's been dragged off to be devoured
by a fox, or a cat, but whatever it was
it must have been really down on its luck,
falling on that desiccated morsel
for a feast.



©AndrewJamesMurray

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Within A Dampened Twilight

I love this photograph of Deansgate, Manchester, taken during a heavy rainstorm this August, 2019.

Taken from Deansgate Station, it has been likened to a Lowry painting.

It was taken by Simon Buckley, an artist whose photographs I discovered in his blog Not Quite Light, featuring photographs of the older, northern parts of the city that I love when, well, it was not quite light.

His blog led me to his website, where you can view and purchase copies of his prints:

https://notquitelight.com

Through An Unsullied View

My son is easily pleased.

This morning, as we made our way through Manchester city centre, he wanted nothing more than to stop and watch the water fountains in Piccadilly Gardens.

Gardens. If ever there was a misnomer then that’s it. There’s barely anything green about it. Certainly nothing floral.

There is a much maligned concrete wall, dubbed by locals the Berlin Wall. What exactly the design was meant to represent I don’t know. Man seems to have a propensity for turning beauty into ugliness.

There was an attempt to spruce things up a bit last year. The council returfed the area, but with a deadly dovetail of hot weather and a failed sprinkler system, it turned out to be a dry brown mess.

Both a gateway and the city’s heart, Piccadilly Gardens could be Manchester’s showpiece open space.

It is a focal point now, but for not the right reasons. Crime is rising, the homeless are everywhere, punctured by the ragged, stiff-silhouetted users on Spice. A place best avoided at night.

I don’t know what the answer is. Heaven knows the council and the police have tried over the years. I think they are about to try again.

But this morning, this warm, July morning on the cusp of a heatwave, my son, oblivious to its sullied reputation, could see something more.

Water, sunlight, an anachronistic wonder.