The Belgrade Cockerel
Stalking the rooftops of Rige od Fere, he's a man, be sure, not a grey-tailored poultry bird. Screeching the afternoons at four, elevens in darkness; 2am to three; he's hopping.... letting out his gravelly crow. Search him out? It's useless, detect him solely with ears. Patience.... have patience.... For he's the Belgrade cockerel, the Balkan metronome; second mystery of the city, and his body clock's messed up.
He's seeking an audience larger than me. nAAAaaaaaaaac! swoops his spiky onomatopoeia. This one's nourished on the monosyllable. Into the theatre! His scratching feet teeter-a-wheel in a forgotten roof garden. nAAAaaaaaaaac! The shout awakes our silence; rings through the wrong end of time – at the dirty end. By now a hazing sky's all ready (for screaming) and rusted – well primed to spit back the enunciation.
Enigma number two, the cockerel of Belgrade! He's the latest, he's new, lurking on your window slats, weak ceiling. He's inconsolable. You're there, you're hit; nnnnAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaac! is his anodyne. But stop................ and simmer............... Come pre-morning he rests – eyes slump, reject the day! – and through afternoon. Legend cock snoozes away in a black matelassé drum, that gift of the santon who ate porridge in the sun.
Then 4pm, smell dusk and our concert returns; A becomes E and there's no more to learn. Cry out from your balcony if you're ever ------------ disorientated -------------- like a stari grad poultry man.
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