Birds of the Land and Lore

Crows | Enamel on paper by Shahid Mirza ©2010

Shahid Mirza exhibited a fabulous series of crow and water buffalo drawings, among others, at NCA, Lahore this month. He has kindly granted permission for one of them to be reproduced here on this page.

The poem that follows has nothing to do with the beauty of Shahid Sahib’s interpretation – it is only an expression of my very personal association with these intriguing/intrigued birds.

Birds of the Land and Lore

They seize vantage points in disarray
for the conference to which they fly
and where they face the day,
measuring up to the passersby;

to rally over the day’s conundrums –
the voice may not be honey to our bones,
the flight may lack all grace (like this poem),
but their zeal is a fable to urban moans.

A little trouble, sure, for the derelict dough
or the swaddled child with the lordbird’s lavish
poop on its cheek. Crows have no sense of humor

and no toilet training – for if they did, their
guns would rattle our sidewalks and sills,
and I, their sinner, would be the first to go.

2:10 am 28 March 2010


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