Palinode (birds)

Palinode (birds)

Simplicity, as in the cloaca. One aperture for all: eggs,
urine, sperm, feces. The majority of birds copulate
by joining the openings of their cloacae (most male
birds lack penises). Nothing is for nothing.

Nothing is for nothing, but the ache of emptiness
bestows its own reward. That movement from outer
world to inner, to anima, to breath, to flight,
approaching heaven. Birds know the way.

Knowing the way, birds express our envy of the
boundless, testament to the unity of earth and sky,
instinct’s voice. We see feathers not as epidermal
outgrowths, but as emblems of what we forever seek.

As emblems of what we seek, crows exploit man’s
folly, exposing hidden truths. Thought and memory
recede, leaving us foundered. Altered consciousness,
flight, the space to believe, simplicity’s forms in one.

“Palinode (birds)” first appeared in slightly different form in Otoliths in fall 2016.

33 thoughts on “Palinode (birds)

  1. Well, God: I hardly know where to begin. First, I’m a longtime chicken keeper, and I did not know roosters do not have penises. This makes me feel more kindly toward their apparent sexual aggression, which looks more like rape than the intimate cloacal kiss I now realize they are trying to achieve.

    And, of course: beautiful poem. Birds know the way indeed. Thanks, Bob. .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Robert, I read this poem several times and came back to this line “birds express our envy of the
    boundless”. I am not sure if it is envy but it sure does leaves a void, an yearning to explore and be one with the boundless.

    Liked by 1 person

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