Leonardo’s Pigeons

Gray pigeons strut the piazza’s flags, they eye
the scraps Leonardo’s had no want to eat;
their muted hues he notes and muses why?  

They sweep around the artist’s cumbered feet;
 “vogliamo,” coo the pressing birds; “we fly”
is heard—to soar as birds makes us complete! 

Yet birds flash colors men can’t see, a rush
toward rainbow’s end our roosting pigeons bring,
more fire than charged his Mona Lisa brush.

Flight takes a flexing, light and sculpted wing
that draws the feathers forward with each push;
birds fly beyond his sketch for such a thing.

Sound wings are more than simple oar and kite,
though bones are struts and muscled cords do lift;
his mode of fact and science got wings right.

But pilots need Leonardo’s searchlight gift
to match a homing pigeon’s sense of flight;
we’ve found ourselves aloft--but craft’s adrift!