My life is like a pigeon, it might look mostly grey
It’s really rather ordinary the same day after day
My life is like a pigeon I’m just like the rest
I’d describe myself as average, certainly not the best
I tried to be a parrot I painted myself red
I tried to fly really high I tried to get ahead
I went on great adventures, pursued glory and fame
I dreamt one day that flocks and flocks of birds would know my name
But my wings grew rather tired, the paint started to fade
Underneath those crimson feathers was a pigeon who was afraid
I don’t know who I am I’m a fraud I’m a fake
I’ve spent my life pretending I made a big mistake
I knew that it was time to wash off the red paint
I want to be known for who I am not for what I ain’t
Turns out I like being a pigeon I drink water I eat seed
No more longing no more wants there’s not much That I need
I spend time doing this and that, tend my baby in the nest
Life has so much more energy when you don’t try to impress
I sing in the morning I sleep in an old oak tree
I fly around my village I’ve never felt so free
So, Next time you see a pigeon look again with fresh eyes
As a pigeon is simplicity and happiness in disguise
Notes on the poem:
I’ve been listening to Alan Watts a lot and in a talk I was listening to recently he was saying how words fail us. The word “sea” is not the sea. That’s where the arts come in; music, art and poetry can help us explain the unexplainable.
I have spent the last three months at home caring for my baby. I tried to find the right word to explain it; ordinary, mundane, day-to-day, but in our language these words somehow have a slightly negative connotation and imply boredom, but that’s not what I’m trying to say. This poem helped me to describe how wonderful it is to enjoy daily life and let go of ambition.
I was trying to find the right metaphor, and whilst out on a walk a pigeon crossed my path. They are such splendid and regal birds, but because they are everywhere people fail to notice their beauty.
When I wrote the poem I rung my Great Auntie Gilda and read it to her over the phone. She loved it and told me my grandmother used to write poetry, but they have all got lost.