For the sake of argument, suppose the suspicion
of red and green flight you didn't quite believe
to have passed your peripheral vision was

in fact a parrot that, having taken advantage of a carelessly
closed cage door, given one anthropomorphic squawk
to celebrate its freedom, has launched into

unfamiliar air, and is now distributing acquired
polychromatic language, polyphonic colour
in the wake of its unplanned path over suburban gardens,

parks, playgrounds, allotments, canals,
industrial areas, military training grounds,
which it does not comprehend, does not even

realise that it should try to comprehend any more
than it comprehends the syllables that, from time
to time, burst from its beak, falling as dust

or laughter without meaning or sense into
the eyes and ears of those who, like you, reserve
judgement but who nevertheless

turn up their faces with something like joy,
try to extend the experience for as long as they can
and once it is over, search hopefully for another glimpse.

Peter Howard

If you've any comments on this poem, Peter Howard would be pleased to hear from you.