The Phoenix: Part 1 – The Arrival

“You said we’d be first,” said Alan getting out of the car.
“No I didn’t,” was Brian’s reply.
Charlie just shrugged as if to say “Here we are”
but did so with a tic in one eye.

They had been on the trail of a roc when the call
had come in via Alan’s new pager.
They jumped in Brian’s car (which he managed to stall)
and, after a few stops, here they were.

Most of those here they could already address by name.
They were chiefly from the same coterie.
Yet a couple of policemen were blocking off all the same
the Museum of Unnatural History.

A more suitable location it would be hard to find.
This place was clearly the best,
thus Alan, and Brian, and even Charlie opined,
for the Phoenix to construct its nest.

Brian was fumbling with his binocular case,
he was struggling to open the clasp,
when the phoenix returned, landing with grace
and the onlookers let out a gasp.

Its movements though elegant were surprisingly slow.
Its colours more ashen than bold.
You did not need to be an ornithologist to know
that the phoenix was getting too old.

It landed on the dome gripping a large lump of coal
which in its nest it carefully laid
among the paper, firelighters, and bottles of alcohol
in this fire trap of a nest it had made.

When it had finished arranging it looked up to see
a dishevelled type risking its ire.
This hawker was clutching a bill that he wanted to be
publicised in the phoenix’s pyre.

The phoenix reared up and spread out its wings.
It attacked, looking clearly irate.
But its talons just bounced off his chains and rings
leaving them in a classic stalemate.

The pair of them circled in their antagonistic dance
while the onlookers felt compelled
to raise up their binoculars and exploit this chance
to examine the leaflet he held.

They looked at the flyer during this rooftop ballet
it was dominated by a comely wench.
Alan spoke for many for he was moved to say
“I don’t believe she even speaks French.”

“Oh I don’t know. I’m sure she must have worked
at least on her letters.” was Brian’s reply.
Charlie raised his hand to hide the fact that he’d smirked
but did so with a tic in one eye.

Spotting an opening the tout dived and plunged
the advert into the nest on the sly.
But this brought him close to the Phoenix who lunged
and pecked him upon his third eye.

The huckster dropped, rolled, the gutter rapidly drew
closer till he was stopped by a mast
in a painful manner such that everyone now knew
his business perks were a thing of the past.

Exciting though this was Alan turned his head
because he heard something else appear.
Once more, Alan spoke for most when he said
“Oh no. What are they doing here.”


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