Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And your bird can sing.

Another friendly local poet now decanalizing . . . For all I know he mesmerized the tree frog that landed on the window behind and stuck out the entire reading with the very poem below.


for Timothy

You look into the blackbird's eye
A whole world gathers around you at its center     smiling
How is it possible a simple trap
Could lure something of the world into your small hands

What power does a young boy have
That he might hold
What is most wild   given to flight

I understand the smile feathers bring
The contented moment of holding something in place
Life might be the elusive bird
That flies in the door and out the window

How proud can a father be of his own son with such a firm grip
When he himself has let so many things slip through his
When   at an early age
The sound of wings frightened  more than calmed

If the blackbird has given up
He is elevated now   in your hands
Lifted to a new height wit each stroke of your fingers

Your touch taking him this far
He might never return to himself
Or the world the same

But sing of his conversion
How his harsh calls were answered with soft words
How the fear of death climbed out of him
Once he gave in

He might sing of how he was held
For a moment one day
When sure he would die
He felt most alive
—Gary Myers, Lifetime Possessions: Poems (Riverstone, 1997)

Winner of the 1997 Riverstone Poetry Chapbooks Award


Out West, we say the picture below represents the "Angle of Repose"

Swinburne had a different tagline for it . . .

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