Misplaced Egos

The peacock struts slowly.
Picks up one foot
and then the other
as oglers crouch,
cameras and smart phones in hand,

People peer through apertures,
fingers tensed to catch the shot.
And still the bird struts.
Guards its fan of iridescent blues and greens,
that myriad of non-iris eyes,
its feathered gloriosity.

The peacock stands proudly still
waiting for the peahen to appear,
not giving a whit for humanity.
Those gullible money-paying creatures
who think their presence
could be a reason for its preening.


Today, Victoria is hosting dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and asks us to consider feathers in our poems. ย I’ve stood waiting, at zoos and nature parks across the U.S. and in Bermuda, waiting for a peacock to spread its glorious fan and have never, ever, seen it! Facts: the peacock is the male of the species and spreads its fan in a mating “dance/call” for the female. Only the males are peacocks. Females are peahens and quite dull colored. Peacock feathers in fan-form, emit a sound only heard by peahens.ย Peacocks can and do fly. And, perhaps the most fun fact: a group of peacocks is called an ostentation or a party.ย Photo Credit: Danny Ouellet.

43 thoughts on “Misplaced Egos

  1. Victoria C. Slotto September 20, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Such amazing birds. There was a neighborhood near where I grew up in SoCal that had peacocks roaming the yards and streets…we used to love to drive through and gawk.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. taylor September 20, 2016 / 4:53 pm

    This is VERY clever, Lillian. I especially like this line: “fingers tensed to catch the shot” ๐Ÿ™‚ And the last stanza, of course. You just cannot wipe the arrogance off of some birds. Not gonna happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:14 pm

      Smiling I am. Thanks for the read and response!


    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:15 pm

      Oh, chuckle at your first sentence here! Glad you enjoyed.


  3. ZQ September 20, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    Nicely captured! Been there at a strip show ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Kruschke September 20, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    Love this! That peacock simply does not care at all about the people taking its picture. They are beautiful creatures, though. Once in New York City we saw a white peacock. You’d think it wouldn’t be as pretty as the blue and green ones, but it was simply gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Have never seen a white one in person….but doing the research for this, did read about them and saw some photos. Gorgeous indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AnnMarie Roselli September 20, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    Hi Lillian,
    perfectly poised peacock-esque words
    you fit your words ever so wonderfully into this gorgeous bird’s fanned plumage

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:17 pm

      Thanks, AM. Last day in Ptown — home tomorrow. Have enjoyed living by the water again. Been quite unplugged — will get back to reading tomorrow from bean town ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • AnnMarie Roselli September 23, 2016 / 5:48 pm

        oh, enjoy Lillian
        so miss vacationing in RI
        nothing wrong with being unplugged –
        I’ve fallen so far behind with the last phase of getting what I hope to be a genuine book out for late November, early December
        gosh, if I only had a few thousand more dollars, I cold pay someone to do all this media junk:)
        hope all else is well and your foot/ankle are mending
        happy weekend

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Nan Mykel September 20, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Someone must have discovered that they sound like! At the Temple of Gold in West Virginia flocks of peacocks strut their stuff (all white). I don’t recall seeing a pea hen. Maybe hiding? I really liked your noticing the slow showy strutting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:18 pm

      Well, if I had feathers and eyes like that, I’d be strutting too! ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. kanzensakura September 20, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    I love this ostentation! Noisy buggers though. It is amazing to see them spread their feathers, esp. The all white ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:18 pm

      Have never seen one spread his fan! How I wish….. Ostentatious indeed ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Bjรถrn Rudberg (brudberg) September 21, 2016 / 12:05 am

    I love his focus that goes beyond the drama of those photographing people.. We call it arrogance, but maybe it’s the photographers being arrogant, the peocock struts for the peehen not for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:19 pm

      Exactly! That peacock is probably thinking, “You idiot — and you think I’m going to do my mating dance for you?????”


  9. rosemawrites September 21, 2016 / 5:58 am

    This is clever and fierce, Lillian! Especially these lines:

    “Those gullible money-paying creatures
    who think their presence
    could be a reason for its preening.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bodhirose September 21, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Fun write, Lillian. No, peacocks don’t care about strutting and fanning their feathers for photographers. I was, however; the object of affection for a peacock that lived in our neighborhood in Miami for a time. Pretty intimidating actually! I referenced the story I wrote about that encounter on my haibun that I submitted for the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:21 pm

      Our last day in Ptown — home to Boston tomorrow. I am guilty of not reading as much as I should. Shall get to it once home — catch up on last week’s reading over the weekend. I DID read yours and when to the link with the peacock story!!! LOVED it! As I mentioned in my reply to you….maybe that peacock finally gave up figuring you were deaf ๐Ÿ™‚ Their shimmy with their fans emits a sound that calls the peahen………and you just didn’t get the message ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Bodhirose September 23, 2016 / 11:31 pm

        So glad you enjoyed my story on my personal encounter with a peacock. What’s interesting though is I did hear his feathers. They made a very clear rustling sound but perhaps the real attraction is heard on a level that I couldn’t hear…I don’t know, but I do know that bird loved me!!! Haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sanaa Rizvi September 21, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Oh you create such magic with your imagery, Lillian ๐Ÿ˜€ especially love ‘Guards its fan of iridescent blues and greens, that myriad of non-iris eyes, its feathered gloriosity.’ ๐Ÿ’–

    Beautifully penned (as always)

    Lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      Always glad to provide a smile! ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. Bryan Ens September 22, 2016 / 8:46 am

    Another fact to add to your list: the name of the bird when not being gender specific is peafowl…but somehow peacock seems to have become the accepted norm. And that soaring of the plumage is a rare and delightful scene!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:24 pm

      Ah….and yes, did you know they don’t know the pea chick’s gender for quite some time?
      I do think the reason why women where decorative hats is to make up for their lack of plummage that the male bird species has! Perhaps we should open a hat shop for pea hens and female cardinals? ๐Ÿ™‚


    • lillian September 23, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Have heard they are quite raucous — but have never heard them now seen their fans in full ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I am plummage denied!


      • freyathewriter September 24, 2016 / 10:34 am

        They are quite a sight! I went to a wedding at a hotel where they had peacocks and peahens in the grounds. They weren’t at all shy (or quiet!).

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Kay September 26, 2016 / 11:00 am

    Oh, this is lovely! Peacocks are magnetic creatures and you so beautifully and poignantly described humans’ propensity to believe all creatures and things are here for our amusement….

    Liked by 1 person

      • Kay September 26, 2016 / 11:06 am

        And I did enjoy it, thank you. ๐Ÿ’œ


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