The birds alight



Firmly rooted in the strength of grace

the birds alight on the stiff raised arms of poets

balanced on one foot in the spaces left standing

between the tenuous structures that remain


Insubstantial and vaguely reminiscent


The flooding waters begin to recede

as the detritus of the displaced

live on in our frightened prayers and their own cardboard hollows

carrying the burden of our collective magnificence


The sun arrives late as the dogs and donkeys

shiver in the new light … in the heat

in the washed out fragrance of urine and slowly drying fear

their familiar trails erased how will they find home?


Tree limbs with radial fractures leaves crushed

a chaotic maze of leaching chlorophyll

roots holding to rocks waiting for loosened soil

to settle the wail of a child


The water heavy with suffering, eddies in wrong places

weary from the seizures of epileptic unbalance

made other and reduced to an inventory of unfamiliar relationship

to wood to concrete to flesh


the eye looks for one familiar thing in its place with another

a chair and a table, a table and a glass, a glass and a pitcher,

a single glass and a pitcher the thirsty eye raised

to rest for a moment on a recognizable sky


the sun comes up

and the birds continue to alight

on the stiff raised arms of poets



Artist: Max Ernst

25 responses

  1. The line – “The eye looks for one familiar thing………”
    and then this – “the thirsty eye raised to rest for a moment on a recognisable sky.”
    This is very moving Jana. The devastation, awful, but there are birds, poets, and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been watching the fires closely Bonnie, as I have a dear friend who was evacuated from Sonoma during the height of it all. It is good to hear that the fires didn’t effect you directly, although I imagine the smoke was considerable. Forest fires raged over the Blue Ridge a few years back when I was living there. The smoke filling the air while the slopes burned still haunts me. It is difficult to imagine it being the smoke from homes and memories. Here on the east and southern coasts and in the islands it’s been a deluge….quite a season. Indeed…


    • Hello Nadia, it’s good to hear you are thinking of “starting in” again. I always enjoyed your site. Myself? I won’t give up my sight…too many extraordinary relationships were creatively and spiritually active during my sojourn here. I learned so much in this community. But creative expression has taken me into painting…abstract painting… and I am seeing another way of communicating other than words. Who knows though?

      Liked by 1 person

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