Sparrows Beneath Eaves
[Homeless beside the State Library]
Swish of passing cars
and the long stains
of traffic lights
across gleaming macadam.
His upturned collar lets in drips
from the window glazing
that separates him
from warm-jacketed books
and winking necklaces of computer LED,
sly as bandy-bandy snakes.
The eaves here are wide.
Often rain does not reach his wall;
he glares at its encroachment,
a red-eyed Canute, cursing god and man
Bundles of rags and newspaper
mark the proximity of others;
strictures of survival
In early light the sparrows
flit down in twos and threes
to shake and strut in puddles,
fossick for damp crumbs.
He stretches night-cramped muscles,
and stoops to roll his blanket.
All that he possesses
becomes the new day’s burden.
‘Sparrows Beneath Eaves’ highly commended in the Jean Stone Award 2006;
published in Poetrix #26 2007 and in an anthology of my work:
Drawing God and other pastimes by Beverley George. Picaro Press, 2009