Bird (Poetry Monthly)
Wed, 27 Jan 2016
Before you were a bird, you were a sunburst –
bronzing a blazing shawl of pines, a caul veiling
not a fiend, but the face of the moon –
pooled in a puddle in a park
you were hope in the eyes of the enslaved
were the music without a stave without a song to sing
an orchestra sans strings, sans wind, sans timpani
and when a wave – were its slip and its slap
listened to sea-speak in a conch shell sat on a sill.
You were the wind beneath a pillar-box red balloon
over a field of flax, the greenest of things blue
were dew pooling on a floret of Alchemilla Mollis...
a curlicue of mist caressing the crest, kissing the curves
of a querulous Kilimanjaro – the sprig of pressed, wild flowers –
twixt Joshua and Deuteronomy
a button-box, a lock of hair, a cobweb on a cornice,
a cotton-bud, a quip of candyfloss, a child’s tin truck
till you grew...feather, beak, and claw – finally
flew with Cetus, Hydra, Pegasus over black, backyards
of cities, villages, towns and continents, sped through skies
specked with light as the speckled flesh of Tiamat
Before you were a bird you were a man at a window
in the flickering light of widowhood, a child...
wishing for the moon; freedom’s envoy
cradled in the heaven’s sweet sway.