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