Are Pigeons Psychic?



Ungainly, waddling, portly creatures;
festooning windows with chalky shit.
Pests; irritating, spreading disease;
unloved, uncared for. So how is it
they accomplish something we can’t explain.
Something almost supernatural,
still escaping the overweening brain.
Something mysterious; beyond the rational.

It’s not done by smell,
or magnetism,
familiar landmark,
or by memory.
Frustrated, scientists
scratch heads and sigh.
It’s not invisible
patterns in the sky,
but, somehow, they do it:
homeward-bound they fly.

Some scientists are fanatics;
how they exult
at spurious trickery
they can debunk.
The whole claptrap
of Spiritualism,
exposed by their
cleansing scepticism.
To them, pigeons are
“loony tunes”,
dubious charlatans,
bending spoons.
I am no such fanatic;
let pigeons keep their secrets.
Nothing more tragic
than a world
bereft of magic.

“Pigeons” was inspired by an essay by Rupert Sheldrake I read recently, in that excellent periodical The Reader     Rupert Sheldrake is an eminent biologist and author, but he is still regarded with a degree of suspicion by some scientists for his theories of “Morphic Resonance” – too complex to go into here, you’ll be relieved to know.  The subject of the essay is unexplained animal ability, and he focuses mainly upon homing pigeons.  How do pigeons home?  How do animals navigate?  You might think that there are scientific explanations for these phenomena – but there aren’t!  Sheldrake argues that there are taboos in the scientific world against investigating such phenomena, because dogmatic materialists “. . . are afraid that if you allow for psychic phenomena then you allow the supernatural into science, and the whole edifice of science would crumble.”  Sheldrake believes that “. . . the psychic abilities of animals are normal not paranormal, natural not supernatural”.  He concludes: “. . . science is incomplete and we need to enlarge it, to enlarge the realm of what we call the natural.  That doesn’t mean we deny the spiritual realm, but we need an enlarged conception of the natural realm and an enlarged conception of the spiritual realm.”  I couldn’t agree more!



Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “Are Pigeons Psychic?

  1. Interesting info, but more importantly: what a thoroughly entertaining poem!

  2. I remember you had a thing about pigeons! Great poem!

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