Portrait of a Peacock


We’ve been wearing a winter coat
like drab and tired feathers
and an old beaten hat
like a drooping crest.

Grey days, grey skies, grey hearts.
Barnyard birds of routine,
low horizons, chicken wire souls.
We peck at what’s given us.

Why don’t we wake up early
tomorrow and catch the sun
in the drop at the end
of the drain-pipe?

Why don’t we sing to the moon
for a change and ask foxes
to dance their tangos
and wild tarantellas?

And then let’s change clothes
with phoenixes
and steal thunder
from the peacocks.

Then we’ll stand arrayed in opal
and emerald plumage,
in scarlet and tangerine
and pinions of azure and silver.

Then we’ll be kings and queens
among daisies and irises,
in poppy-fields and thyme-gardens,
through the bluebells
and even among the roses!

Then we are the crested emblems
of life in the air,
life among flowers,
life even in the barnyards
and the crates off to market.

Let’s never take off
these beautiful clothes.

from my poetry friend, Kate Chadbourne

photograph, Milwaukee County Zoo
Milwaukee, WI

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. incredible texture

  2. ladypercy says:

    I love the color and texture in the picture. That’s an incredible bird.
    I love the details you can see in the picture. What type of lens are you using to get that quality of detail?

  3. Gandalf says:

    Striking images both the photo & the poem – made to go together like birds of …

  4. Lisa's Chaos says:

    What a beautiful close-up! Hello!

  5. Wonderful poem and photo. I’ve never been this close to a peacock, and the tiny curly feathers are such a surprise, especially since one always concentrates on their tail plumage.

  6. Wow! The colors are amazing:)

  7. Such a stunning up close shot of this Peacock and the poem to get along with it! Bravo!

  8. montucky says:

    That’s a beautiful photo, and please tell Kate I love her writing!

  9. jeanabaena says:

    wow! what brilliant colors and details. most certainly worth the trip!

  10. Gorgeous!

  11. Absolutely beautiful. I love the detail and colors! Great poem by Kate. 🙂

  12. Heyjules says:

    Fantastic! What a great job you did on this one!

  13. Gorgeous photo and I enjoyed the poem Barbara. Hope you are well.

  14. Birds are so wonderful. Especially colorful ones. And they sing on top of all this visual beauty. They fly. God was in a very good mood when he created birds.

  15. wow, what a lovely close up portrait. the detail is exquisite!

  16. EXQUISITE…no pallet or design can match that of nature!!
    Good shot!

  17. What an absolutely marvelous poem, and I was already so impressed by the jewel like clarity of your peacock mug shot.

    Two lady talents, muy formidable.

  18. Wow! This is gorgeous. 🙂 I enjoyed the poem, too.

  19. I came over from Amuirin’s. What a gorgeous shot. Almost looks surreal. Wonderful.

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