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Pigeon: Jimbala

Poet: Ivy Ireland

Poem: Velocity

Parent: Libby Fairfax

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Velocity

“Gustav was released off the Normandy coast and, faced with headwinds of up to 30mph and no sun to guide him on a cloudy day, he flew 150 miles to a pigeon loft in Thorney Island, near Portsmouth, in a journey that lasted five hours and 16 minutes… Gustav was the first of the RAF‘s Homing Pigeon Service to bring back news of D-Day to the UK.” – BBC NEWS

And it’s the birds again, their
Gossamer glory hooks tugging our
Eyes up from morning teacups

In the last leaf embers, we had been courting Doom

Yet gaze is raised up to Gustav
Flying WWII out of the Great Chronicle
Against all the God-fury we can imagine
The God-fury he no longer had to imagine
Over ghost ships and sea monsters

His own mass the only anchor: Hooked into sky

Because he had been directed
Because it was a sort of game
Because at the end if it all was a comfortable loft

At the end of our game
Remains the question: “who is best?”
It is not enough to simply regain home

We race on against devolution
Somehow settling the issue
Yet with each subatomic chaos-flux
Best is born again

In the white sky where it is finalised
Examples of endurance are thick as flies:
Gustav with his D-Day daring
And all the ghouls of the air

Here with us, mid-chase, through the not yet deciphered
Here with us, mid-chase, amongst the not quite decided
Here with us, mid-chase, inside the almost terminal

Breathless, we balance our pigeon post
Against one another:
A log chronicling the velocity of our Doom

“Who is best?” remaining our guide,
Residing inside the fracture:
Distance we have travelled to remain here
Speed with which we rush to regain home

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