When wood pigeons insist that you are breaking something – a poem by Tom Burgess


When wood pigeons insist that you are breaking something

Worlds whirl within one another
Just the slightest tremor trips
you into a tandem plotline
Where the ache in your forehead is a bomb
A literal, unpredictable bomb
Where the bristle down your spine is a sign
Of awakening
And your feet as you kneel are nailed together in place
Something to do with the resurrection
Only life here is drained and dread the only

Turn to nature
Though meaning has dropped out its bottom
Once allies the birds now make constant accusations
The grounded seal of soil has spun out
with the curl of a distant galaxy
The insatiable metaphor of the black hole holds sway
You scrabble to garble a meta meaning of hope
Only you don’t know enough physics to redirect the narrative
And deflect the surge of inevitable doom

Chaos speaks to chaos
Utter loneliness
Something dies in you and dies again
Each day is new
And though the universe has ended
The story wont

Stuck on repeat

Until a gentler moment
A lull
The shape of music
And a longing stirred
Eyes locking on, latching to something
And undisturbed
Hands held
Racing towards a still point
Which when it arrives
Feels as expansive as it is intimate
No instant healing
But reprieve and a life raft


Author’s note: The poem explores one of the recurring motifs that has featured in each of my psychotic episodes, hearing messages from the birds which transmit a sense of dread. The experience of no longer finding solace in nature but experiencing nature as an agitator can be particularly destabilising for someone who usually finds such connection there. Though ultimately I believe there is a quieter steady reality within nature which waits, and the prospect of it offers hope.