The Birds

With apologies to Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Моцарт и Сальери by Александр Пушкин [Aleksandr Pushkin].

I lost the magic gift to conjure words
When I with algebra have verified all art.
I walk the seawall, watch the restless birds
Tug at the clamshells, prying them apart.
Inside they find their food and sate their wants.
They snack on the delicious foot, obscene
In its protruding challenge to the tongue.
They eat the palps, the gills; they preen.
The cormorant is clacking its hooked beak.
The pigeons amble back to Denman Street.
The geese honk like a horde of party boys
Accompanied by noise of speakers' thrum.
I slow my footsteps then, and fix my poise,
And like a heron wait for words to come.