The Bird Tree In Winter

In Memory:  Cheryl Gagnon

 

How have they flown?

Did they spiral upwards in a circle,

A cloud of wings aspiring?

Or, were they driven down

And outwards, the hurling fists

Of an animal madness?

What is this place bequeathed?

A wormy lair to snare

The most beautiful feather?

Once, a Victrola’s voice box,

Song birds sang away their season.

Now, there is a hush for us to hear it rain,

And know we are alone,

The descendants

Of those who have ascended.

Often, if ill-fated,

We are the survivors of their catastrophes.

We sift through inherited treasure

Searching for a talisman

To aid us in their absence.

We listen for an echo of their voices

In our conscience.

Let us tend to a world

So stricken with pain.

For now, for a moment,

May we finally know peace,

As we yet again look up to them,

To find who we are in them.

 

March 1st, 2012

Revision: March 5th-March 6th, 2014

July 14th, 2016

 

 

First Version

 

Beneath the roiling sky,

Beneath the trailing tentacles

Of stinging mist,

Its scarlet blooms diminish,

While its foliage ever greens.

Scurrying, here I duck

To seek a momentary shelter

From the maelstrom.

Dripping, but impervious to chill,

I peer inside the empty nest

That is this tree,

Then ponder.

 

How have they flown?

Did they spiral upwards in a circle,

A cloud of wings aspiring?

Or, were they driven down

And outwards, the hurling fists

Of an animal madness?

What is this place bequeathed?

A wormy lair to snare

The most beautiful feather?

Once, a Victrola’s voice box

For the nightingales’ madrigal,

Now, there is a hush for us to hear it rain

 

And know we are alone,

The descendants

Of those who have ascended.

Often, if ill-fated,

We are the survivors of their catastrophes.

We sift through inherited treasure

Searching for a talisman

To aid us in their absence.

We listen for an echo of their voices

In our conscience.

Let us tend to a world

So stricken with pain.

 

For now, for a moment,

May we finally know peace,

As we yet again look up to them,

To find who we are in them.

 

January 9th to January 16th, 2012

January 18th to January 20th 2012

January 22nd to January 25th, 2012

January 31st, 2012

July 14th 2016

 

 

 


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