Pigeon Epiphanies

“At any given moment in the middle of a city there’s a million epiphanies occurring, in the blurring of the world beyond the curtain.”  Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos

I once saw a woman peering at the world
from behind a net curtain
in the middle of Venice
in the middle of thick fog.

I wondered if she was looking
at something particular,
for someone special,
for a way out.

In St Mark’s square, pigeons swooped,
tempted by food,
beckoned by sightseers,
landing on the lonely.

I wished for a pigeon to land
on that woman’s hand.

Kim M. Russell, 18th July 2019

Image result for woman in a window in Venice with a pigeon on her hand
Italian actress Virna Lisi feeding the pigeons in St. Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy, 1959 – image found on Pinterest (after I wrote the poem)

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: Poetry begins with a lump in the throat…

Toni is our host this Thursday with a humdinger of a prompt. She used a Robert Frost quote as her title, which is similar to something she does with her poetry. preceding a poem with a quote, writing the poem first and then searching for a suitable quote.

Today, she is doing the opposite by giving us a quote and asking us to write a poem from it, with a maximum of twenty four lines. lines at most – a poem that begins with a lump in the throat, or a belly laugh, or a tear spring-boarded from your quote. We can choose one of the quotes provided by Toni or choose one of our own. As soon as I saw Kate Tempest’s name, I had to choose that quote.

34 thoughts on “Pigeon Epiphanies

  1. What a lovely thought, sending a pigeon to ease her loneliness. I lov the quote that inspired this, it tempted me, too, as behind every curtain the most amazing stories are taking place. I have always been curious about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sherry. The woman behind the net curtain on a foggy day is true, I saw her while we were watching the Venice carnival on our twenty-fifth anniversary last year. Everyone else seemed to have someone to enjoy the event with, but she was alone in the window, peeking out from behind the curtain.


  2. What an ending line. This is such a good poem Kim. In more ways than one. I am always curious about what goes on behind closed curtains as well. I like that you noticed her in the midst of Carnival. Sometimes it is loneliest in the midst of partying and festivals. Again, thank you for writing to my prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Much as I liked the shape of the poem — perfectly balanced — something didn’t quite connect between the leading image and the epiphany. Do lonely people need a helping hand from the world, or do they learn to get their needs met reaching out to others? Still the poem leaves us in a peaceful place, and I’m grateful for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As you observe her i wonder if anyone observes us and thinks on similar lines. Everyday I go to a cafe for a coffee and wonder if the staff wonder who and what I am…meanwhile I wonder about them!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this, Kim. Different people see different ways to act and feel concerning the pigeons, they would like to be left alone. I have pictures of our youngest granddaughter shooing them off the square. My impulse, hide my face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jim! I have wood pigeons that warble outside our bedroom window – I find the sound comforting. Pigeons have such a comical walk, too. 🙂


    1. Thank you, Viv!
      I just got back from my daughter’s and am trying to catch up on reading and writing – but getting nowhere! I have serious back pain and don’t know if it’s from sleeping on a blow-up mattress or if it’s a kidney infection – and I have to collect the cats from the cattery. Although I have all day ahead of me, it’s disappearing fast. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I keep singing “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins. The woman looks through a net curtain, through a fog. Her vision is obscured but the writer sees her, sees her loneliness, and wishes her company. Even if it is for the birds.

    Liked by 1 person

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