Ode to a pigeon

There’s no denying I’m having trouble juggling the things I want to do with the things I have to do. Paid work versus writing my blog, for example (Er…. hello old blog! I’ve missed you!). Or tidying the ever growing mountain of mess in my room versus lying in bed with the covers pulled up, and not moving for days.

Anyway, one of the ‘have-to’s happened last week when I took Marnie, my sweet, sleep averse baby, to Tresillian, where they teach mothers how to teach such babies how to get to the land of nod. A baby-sleep boot camp of sorts.

It was intense. Physically and emotionally draining. The soundtrack was the sound of screaming babies, over which classical music blared, to drown out the screaming babies. Every night, when Marnie woke – hourly, half-hourly, sometimes ten-minutely – I had to jump out of bed to settle her back to sleep.

By the third night, I was so delirious with the exhaustion that comes with (eleven months of) extreme sleep deprivation, that the nurses were left to look after the baby while I lay paralysed by waves of nausea and vommed violently into the bedside bin. At 1am they called Tutti to look after me, and the next morning, two days before the end of the program, they sent me home.

But two good things happened.

The first is that Marnie appears to be (slowly) getting the message (even if she did wake 6 times last night and finally at 4.45 this morning, and I have been up since then as a result).

The second, is that on night two, in a strange moment of sudden inspiration, I decided to write a poem. Well, I decided to add to a poem – I wrote the first four lines at uni and always really liked them. Who knows how or why the urge took me to tap this out on my keyboard as I sat on the bed, insane with tiredness as I waited for Marnie to wake up for the millionth time. All I’ll say is this – you just never know when inspiration will strike. Always carry a pen and paper. And with that, I’ll just leave this here:

Ode to a pigeon

Oh pigeon how you coo and strut
As though you own the street
There’s no denying you’re a slut
A scavenger. A cheat.
Your feathers they are drab and grey
Your eyes as black as soot
And always without fail you have
At least one mangled foot.
You do not fly with style or grace
It must be said in fairness,
Your pea-brain has not gifted you
With much spatial-awareness
You scavenge in the garbage bins
You kick, and peck and sit
Wherever you feel comfortable
You care not where you shit.
Oh pigeon with your beady eye
Your little sharp dull beak
Your grubby wings, that flap sky high
You’re anything but sleek.
And yet dear pidge, when you I see
On any given day,
I cannot help but feel depressed
That you’re so dirty grey
You’re blatantly unpopular
And even though you’re dumb,
If you come near, you needn’t fear


. .



2 thoughts on “Ode to a pigeon

  1. Mary says:

    For someone who has had lack of sleep for all these months…I wish I were so brilliant! Marvelous poem…made me laugh and sit in awe of thee. WOW!

  2. Kathy says:

    Number 1- LOVE your poem! So clever and fun!
    Number 2- Sleep camp for babies? A few years ago Nanny 911 was on TV and one show was on getting kids to stay in bed. I used it on my little 3 year year old grand daughter. You tell them good night and tell them to stay in bed. If they get up, you take them back to bed without speaking or looking at them. Repeat as needed. First night is the worse. Gets better each night. By the 4th night she stayed in bed and slept all night. Maybe this will be helpful! Good luck! XoX

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