Susan Jarvis: Opus Horribilis

There’s a loudly yowling fowl at Casa Ringo
a feathered rainbow tethered in a cage;
a parrot known as Placido Domingo
whose screeching beak provokes the neighbours’ rage.

For Placido has nothing of the Spanish;
his godforsaken shriek could freak the dead.
From bedtime till the dark begins to vanish
this boomer of a bird sounds off his head.

He snuffs the lilting life from sweet sonatas.
He murders arias and tortures tunes.
His sinful rendering of fine cantatas
belts out to doom the bloom of fullest moons.

And now a mate, a vocal non-achiever
Called Callas, shares the shrill Domingo’s jail.
Her name alone recalls the famous diva –
The mere threat of a duet turns me pale!

So, I’ve bought a cockatoo called Pavarotti.
He coaches parrots lurching way off key
for a bowl of ravioli and biscotti;
a marvellous price to pay for harmony.