I am the Stanbrook Abbey peacock.
Here to spend a lifetime in my own grace
Parading, proclaiming and inspecting my own beauty,
And displaying it to a world that is fortunate to look upon me.
I am a product of intelligent design.
Generations of my forebears,
Proud members of the family Phasianidae and the order Gallifromes,
Have honed to a perfect pitch of beauty
The splendour that is myself alone.
The peacock of peacocks.
When the pale ladies in black and white
Built a shrine to me
Wishing to honour me and share my space,
Unbelievers tried to take me away.
They did not succeed.
I returned time and again to claim my rights.
Until I wore them down.
Finally they bowed to my demands
As I knew they would.
Now, when I appear and rattle my tail feathers in disdain
The pale ladies in black and white bring me offerings
Of food and drink.
They move quietly and respectfully around me,
Just as they should.
Not that I care for their worship.
It is empty flattery
To one such as me, who knows his worth.
I have consorted with many gods,
And found them lacking.
I walk alone through my kingdom,
Head and tail held in perfect balance,
Each foot choosing its place with care.
When the sovereignty of my beauty is threatened
By fools who should know better
I spread my shower of iridescent eyes
Towards their cowering face
And they back away.
They are unsettled by my majesty
And fearful of my cold stare.
They know that they are beaten.
They are cowards.
The spurs I carry above my feet
Are never needed.
The pale ladies in black and white
Have pictures of me in their gift shop
Alongside their other God.
I may in fact be a god myself.
It would not surprise me.
for Richard Moore.