Parson of the barn

Early light etches fiery blades 
from wooden boards 
and opens bitter lemon doors.

Into a realm of swept passageway 
and time worn concrete.

Sweet scents of summer straw 
and still green hay. 

The gentle mist of warm equine breath 
and a marmalade cat stretching 
like a python on a square of carpet. 

He steps into the spotlight. 
Motes dance like cascading stars 
or arctic ice, 

this is not some pompous iridescent 
waist coated wastrel of a pigeon 

But a serious, solemn, 
and sombre immigrant.

A collared pastor 
from the darkest coast of Africa,
Come to spread the gift of summer. 

He doesn’t strut but strides 
with pride, 
lands softly 
on a harness polished rail. 

Neat pink talons 
tap a fluttering dance of settling.  

his soapbox gained he preens. 

His body smooth as 

Or as carved of pink flushed 
Carrara marble.

His neck the gentle curve 
of a  lovers shoulder 
shot through with the blistered blood 
of trappers hands. 

His eyes black beads scan the views 
of nervous rats on high rickety rafters 
licking paws and slicking whiskers 

And mischievous mice cutting origami toys 
from ragged stolen sacks sucked dry. 

He coos his early sermon 
to the gather congregation.

He speaks of the pride of fancy tumblers 
and the boastful vanity of 
white Barbary doves

Condemns the hybrid swaggarts 
of magic shows. 

He extols the virtues of dryness. 
The aridness of the desert sands. 
The holy guardians of the land of palms. 

But no one listens to a word.

The orange cat eyes the exotic interloper, 
judges distance and reward 
as too much effort. 

Stretches, sheathing claws for later use, 
on starlings nesting in the roof

     -Dave Kavanagh

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