“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.
The car was reliable, with the one caveat
that you didn’t want to go anywhere.
It had been far and wide, and whatever you tried
would usually result in despair.
They’d tried zen mechanics. They’d tried mustard and cress.
They’d tried frankincense and feng shui.
But the only approach with the slightest success
was letting it have its own way.
Guided by ley lines, they could not dispute
that “scenic” was hardly the word.
In diminishing circles, they had taken a route
abundantly, absolutely absurd.
They never had witnessed a real live phoenix
so sent their vehicular share
in a motoring helix around the E116
The internet was a boon; they had set off as soon
as the news had come over the wire.
Skipping their breakfast. But only near noon
had they stopped to the smell of burnt tires.
Yet still they had found crowds milling around,
and the reason wasn’t any great mystery;
a couple of coppers had access locked down
to Weston’s Museum of Unnatural History.
A more suitable location would be difficult to find.
This place was clearly the best,
thus Alan, and Brian, and even Charlie opined,
for the Phoenix to establish a 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 didn’t have to be an ornithologist to know
that the phoenix was getting too old.
In its beak it had gripped some coal and it dipped
its head to lay it down neat
among firelighters, alcohol, and a thick manuscript,
and even some desiccated peat.
It’s nest was a danger that could only compare,
in safety, to a firebug’s home.
Now ‘safe’ in it’s manger, it settled and glared
at the hipster ascending the dome.
The hipster was mumbling, and frequently stumbling;
tending to trip over his beard.
But apparently his grumbling and ponderous bumbling
was making the phoenix afeared.
Upon reaching the apex, he paused, flapping shirt checks.
(A by-product of too many craft beers.)
Then brought up a device in front of his specs
realising everyone’s worst fears.
An influencer, an unshaven social media maven
(in his own head anyways)
he needed a selfie with this bird’s final haven
before it went up in a blaze.
Perpetually towering, over the phoenix’s cowering.
Snapping the bird he had trapped.
Steady soul devouring while flashes were flowering
until the phoenix eventually snapped.
It extended its neck and essayed a peck,
more from desperation than hope
The hipster was checked. Ensuring his phone wasn’t wrecked
he slipped, and slid down the slope.
Scrabbling, flailing, and failing to construct a
suitable bon mot in French
He was railing and wailing, when a lightning conductor
brought him to a stop with a wrench.
It was a mishap that’d make a Yatagarasu wince.
He’d use his selfie stick nevermore.
Going forward he’d now forever more mince
his words online to be sure.
Alan’s position was that karma had worked
“Don’t be cruel.” was Brian’s reply.
Charlie raised his hand to hide that he’d smirked
but did so with a tic in one eye.
Exciting though this was, Alan turned his head
at a noise that occurred to their rear
Once more, Alan spoke for most when he said
“Oh no. What are they doing here?”