When the Bird King died

When the Bird King died the world fell asleep. The clawed words he’d cawed from his craw scratched at our dreams.

When the Bird King died the trees shed their plumage amidst a sobbing storm.

When the Bird King died the shop window mannequins laughed and tore off their clothes.

When the Bird King died the kettles sang a tea-time dirge. The milk curdled in contempt.

When the Bird King died the sea and sky swapped places. A flock of fish shimmered over a coral cloud.

When the Bird King died the ants turned on the anteater, ate him from the inside out.

When the Bird King died the world fell under the yoke of Childhood. From whispering huddles, toddlers issued bloody decrees.

When the Bird King died leaves became flames. Forests were lakes of fire, from which scorched birds shrieked, falling upwards into clouds.

When the Bird King died fridges turned on their masters, guzzling the hand groping for butter, the fingers feeling for wine.

When the Bird King died the loners and losers and lovers became pupae. Everyone else fretted over the imminent mass metamorphosis.

When the Bird King died people wrote poems about daisychains and a girl’s eyes and I love you and life is short. They’d learned nothing!

When the Bird King died the world continued to turn. Trains ran on time. People died in wars. Old ladies farted in floral armchairs.

—–

All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.

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