The Language of Birds


The Language of Birds
(for Lydia)

Something thrown beyond
light: a stone,

words. The language of birds
evades us but for the simplest

measure. And how can we comprehend
those who live with the

wind when our own
bodies seem far away? In the darkness
certain sounds come clearer, as if in

absence one finds strength, the evidence
gathered with every breath. Speech is,
of course, not the answer. We release

what we must, and in turn are released.

* * *

This first appeared on the blog in April 2015 – another oldie dug out of a folder. I wrote it for my niece perhaps twenty-eight years ago, and don’t believe it was ever published. It felt good to finally release it to the light and air.


30 thoughts on “The Language of Birds

  1. Pingback: The Language of Birds – J Alaine

  2. Reading through the comments and your note of much you would now change, well, certainly, like water dripping on a stone, we are shaped and molded, weathered – but as a piece from long ago, there is still magic and mystery within these words – wise words. And I love the image and question: of trying to understand those who live in the wind when our bodies are grounded. The way you’ve phrased it is so moving, so layered and it leaves me breathless. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m drawn in – thinking of words (spoken, written, prose, poem … text msg even) being thrown beyond light. Implies never seen (heard) – and yet, “out there” – perhaps on wings, flying around, choosing where to alight and BE seen (heard). Neat poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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