Prose Poem: Bird Man

As the sun rises and sets casting it’s pink and golden hue across the city,
I while away my days perched atop this building:
This building I’ve long called home, far above and far away
From the people who scuttle on, oblivious to one another as I am to them.

But I prefer it this way, maintaining my own space.
I’m no bother to anybody save the birds who vie for my attention.
They’re my friends, after all, and they keep me on the narrow and straight,
Seeking my wisdom in all the ways they consider me wise.

A few centuries ago (before the time of cars and planes or when the smoke of factories filled the air)
They gave me a gloriously feathered coat.
Up to that point mine had been an unsettled existence
As that of a Lone Traveller is fated to be, lost between all realms in Time and Space.

I always enjoyed the dream of a solitary existence, just not to be lonely.
My avian friends answered the cries of my heart, respecting my independence when people did not.
And my cape of feathers brought me unbridled freedom, then:
A cloak of invisibility to pass by undetected.

As Time and Memory bounded on I settled my weary bones in this World.
And in this city with its noises and lights and colours
My heart beats strongest as I march through the hordes and the throngs without trace
To carry out the business of the birds – for they have needs like you and me.

How grateful I am when my work is done to return and share my rooftop with the sparrows and the magpies and the robins to name a few.



I wrote this inspired by the character Old Bailey in Neil Gaiman’s book ‘Neverwhere’. He’s an old man who lives on top of a building in London with birds to keep him company.

Having also watched a YouTube video about people who preferred being alone, I was able to expand on the themes of the poem. I also wanted to highlight the therapeutic qualities of the pets and animals in our lives.

I hope you liked reading it. Please feel free to leave a comment below – it’d be great to know what you think of this work.

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