These are the lost Many seeking Itself,
these multitudes that dodge one another
in Birmingham’s New Street. Continue reading “The One and the Many”
My city rage is calmed by my escape:
The traffic’s groan is fading into larks,
And all the world seems rounder in its shape
As I slow my soul to walk through Cofton Park. Continue reading “Up the Lickeys”
On the very day it was proven that William Shakespeare’s grave had been disturbed soon after burial, I purchased Oliver, my lovely green parrot. A strange coincidence, for I came to believe that Oliver was the reincarnation of the Bard himself.
Being a Shakespearean actor, I would often practise my lines at home. To my initial amazement, Oliver would join in.
“To be or not to be,” I would intone.
“That is the question,” Oliver would squawk.
And if I began, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” Oliver would finish, “And our little lives are rounded with a sleep.”
This talent Oliver hid from all but me. Never once did he make a mistake.
Whenever I placed a picture of Shakespeare in his cage, he would gaze at it in fascination, chattering away indistinctly. I could never tell if he was addressing himself or the image. Once I think I heard the phrase: “Words, words, words”, infused with such longing and wistful regret that I felt compelled to leave the room and honour his privacy.
When Oliver died, he had been my friend for nearly five years. I gently placed him in a bread bin and buried him, secretly, in a place near Stratford where a willow grows aslant a brook.
My task completed, I whispered: “Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
I half expected him to respond, but the rest was silence.