Headless Pigeon


While walking home from work one evening, I spotted a pigeon with its head missing, lying at the side of the pavement. It wasn’t doing much, presumably just having a rest, but I know a superstar when I see one. I announced my discovery via poetry, on Twitter:

Oh! Headless Pigeon, on the pavement

Where is your bonce? Is it on a placement?

How do you see things, without a head?

Oh wait: you can’t, because you’re DEAD


Headless Pigeon (note the capitals) had been born.
A few mornings later this popped into my head:

Good morning, Headless Pigeon - I’m happy to say:

That once again, Headless Pigeon, the day is TUESDAY

But if you haven’t got eyes, a neck, or a beak

You probably don’t care about the day of the week


Pigeons are all naked. Unless they've got a ring on their leg. But that's more of an accessory than clothes. So they are all naked.

Oh, darling Headless Pigeon; please don’t be dispirited

That acephaly means your entertainment options are limited

While life without a head I’m sure must be a high pain

The silver lining is: you’ll never get a migraine.


By this time, people on Twitter were starting to notice the Headless Pigeon, and write little ditties of their own. One of them was @stucash. Stu is a vet, so he is probably even more of an expert on headless pigeons than I am. He’s probably sewn a pigeon’s head back on backwards, just for fun. Perhaps he’s done this A LOT. It would explain why pigeons are always flying into windows.

Headless pigeon where is home?

Sadly you can no longer roam.

Your flying tours of our great nation

Hampered by decapitation


Depressing. I tried to get the Headless Pigeon to see the bright side:

My dear Headless Pigeon, try not to be sad.

Life with no head isn’t all bad

Look at it this way: you won’t hear or see

Stuff like The Voice, from the BBC


Once, and only once, the Pigeon responded with this:

Sometimes I feel like throwing my head up in the air - Headless Pigeon

While the headless pigeon was not going to be doing any taking off in real life, it was certainly taking off on Twitter. Other fans started to compose their own poems:

Headless pigeon, life's unkind

Your flying days left far behind

No more soaring, taking wing

Now your rotting body starts to ming.


A delightful haiku appeared:

You don't have a brain

And you don't have any eyes

Poor headless pigeon


He’ll hate me calling him this, but even a proper internet celebrity, Nelson, paid his respects to the Headless Pigeon. His spEak You’re bRanes website ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com is very thoughtful and funny, and you should have a look at it.

I wished your heart, once more, would beat

Invigorate the pigeonmeat

Alas! How long I waited

Your brain and body, bifurcated


Thanks to the wonderful @nookiedog as always for his illustrative talent. He drew the Headless Pigeon for us all. He also wrote a poem:

Headless pigeon you lack a cranium

Maybe it is lying somewhere, lost in a geranium

Come now, I'll help you look

Oh, here it's is... *boak*


My dear little pigeon! Your headless condition

Does not seem to mar your boundless ambition

But I’ve got to admit: I’ll be very impressed

If you manage to win this staring contest


Headless Pigeon, it’s Saturday morning

You seem to be having a lie in

Your lack of movement is appalling

You never do any flying


Stu the vet pointed out (and he is better qualified than most of us to know) that perhaps by now the Headless Pigeon would not be in tip-top condition:

Headless pigeon, you can’t move

Sadly you have lost your groove

Robbed of making life’s decision

Heading straight for decomposition


I, in the meantime, chose to dwell on the bird’s stardom:

Dear little Pigeon - will you stay the same

Now decapitation has brought you all this fame?

At least, I feel, it can safely be said

That celebrity status won’t go to your head

Headless Pigeon, now you’re A-list

Why don’t you make us an iTunes playlist?

I know that one of your favourite tracks

Is “Where’s Your Head At?”, by Basement Jaxx


The last word (for now) came from our friend Spock:

Dear little pigeon, you've gone and lost your head

You still live on in poetry even though you're dead


A Headless Pigeon anthology will be hitting the bookshops in time for Christmas. Perfect for reading to your child if you have one. If you don’t have a child, you could either see about having one, or just buy the book for somebody else’s child. I’m not going to tell you what to do.

Now also featuring last minute contributions by Fran Crampin, including such ditties as:

Oh Headless Pigeon, what happened to you?

Your head and body, once one, now two

Break-ups are tough, I don't wish to criticise

But you're kind of whiffy and attracting flies


Oh Headless Pigeon, what a palaver

Your body so near, yet your noggin much farther

“Does my neck stretch?” You were tempted to wonder

The answer is “no”, it tears asunder

headless book
@nookiedog designed the cover. He does this sort of thing for a living, and will design a book cover for you (or anything else), if you pay him. His website is here.
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