Poetry: White Peacock | clivejames.com
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White Peacock

The feathers lift —
like the sudden coming on
of sprinklered water
over imperial lawns.

Breeze-shaken and trembling —
you imagine the break
into a drift of wish-flowers.

Now the fan streaming with dance —
(imagine the face of an
streaming with light
in an annunciation).

It's the lovely silver rippling
at a saint's fingertips
in a Kirlian

is like entering a Chinese shop
full of paper lanterns —
voices whispering
in room after room like hands
caressing ceremonial silk —

until you come out
to a farmyard screeching of hens.
The peacock is just another sad rag-picker
about a cage, alone

in the knowledge of its palatial etiquette.
It goes about the pen-muck
with the geese,
the yokels of turkeys
slubbering at scraps, hen-poor.

Its chicken-wire existence
against which the tail, at times,
flounces itself
like a Marie Antoinette

or glows like
Saint Theresa among the stricken.