Aubade (Inca Dove)

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Aubade (Inca Dove)

Such delicacy
evokes the evolution of hand
and wing, a growth

reflecting all we’ve come
to know. Two doves

sit on the fence, cold wind ruffling
their feathers. What brings them
to this place of no

shelter, of wind and rain
and clarity defied? Fingers

often remember what the mind
cannot. Silence
complicates our mornings.

 

This first appeared here in February 2015, and was originally published in The Balcones Review in 1987. Seems I was enthralled with birds back then, too…

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3 Poems in Eclectica’s July/August Issue

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I’m delighted that the July-August issue of Eclectica includes three of my Scarecrow poems. Last year I bought a book on corvids (crows, ravens, jays), thinking that I’d likely produce a few poems centered on these fascinating birds. But as I started writing the first one, the Scarecrow’s voice eased in and took control. Thus far we’ve collaborated on about a dozen pieces. Such is poetry…

Hummingbird (2)

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Hummingbird (2)

It embraces what the mind cannot.
To touch, to be
acquired in the way that light

is drawn to the seed’s
core, one must imagine
silence in the purity of

space – that emptiness between
thought and utterance – filled
with what precedes

intent. The movement
has no end; it is

the breath inhaling us all.

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Mockingbird

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Mockingbird

Withdrawn, it unfolds
to another
voice, like that

of a child lost in the wind.
Or, lonely, it rises from its place

and sings, only
to return and start again.
The pleasure we accept derives from

the knowledge that we are not alone.
Each morning we walk out and sit
by the stones, hoping to observe some

new patterns in his life. What we
see is an answer. What we hear is no song.

* * *

“Mockingbird” made its first appearance here in January 2015. It was written
in the 1980s, probably around 1987-1989.

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Hummingbird

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Hummingbird

The thought makes
trembling so

incomplete, a consequence
of knowledge attained. I look out

and see leaves flitting in the dusk,
the air closing around them

like the mouth of an old well
swallowing light. Such

hunger we find difficult
to comprehend. The wind shivers

through our lives and repeats itself,
though differently each time.

Every departure is a return.

“Hummingbird” made it’s first appearance on the blog in December 2014. I wrote it in the 1980s, probably between 1987-1989.

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Hummingbird (4)

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Hummingbird (4)

What overwhelms is the fate
of our breath
moving from one mouth

to the other, a form of
denial flickering by

like the hummingbird,
impossible in flight
but moving despite our logic.
The air

claims no intention. It waits,
and waiting, gives itself to us.

The gift we accept is of ourselves.

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Dark Rain Ahead, Hummingbird

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Dark Rain Ahead, Hummingbird

The black-chinned hummer buzzes my flowered shirt,
bringing to mind the letter H, its history of an inferior life among

letters, and a Phoenician origin signifying fence.

An aspirate dependent upon others, or a line strung between posts,

even whispered, H does not contain itself.
Disconsolate or annoyed, the bird moves on.

Do names depend upon the power of symbols, or do they power the symbols?

In the 6th century A.D., Priscian disparaged H, saying it existed only to accompany.

Clouds shade the way.
The black-chin extends its grooved tongue at a rate of 15 licks per second.

Alone, the H’s voice is barely audible.

Through the trees, across the crushed rock driveway and beyond the barbed wire

and chain link, I hear deadfall snapping under hooves.
At rest, its heart beats an average of 480 beats per minute.

Modern Greek denies its existence.

Say khet, say honor and where. Say hinge, sigh and horse. Say depth.

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Originally published in Prime Number Magazine, one of my favorite online literary journals, in 2013:

http://www.primenumbermagazine.com/Issue41.html