Books are a forest and it’s hard to see the trees, except the tall ones or the old ones. But when you enter the forest, it’s the new growth that emits the sunlight....

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Three Bird Poems

*Goodreads giveaway of The Swan Bonnet until June 2 "
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This month I’m re-publishing three bird poems.   Birds inspired poetry besides two of my novels with young protagonists.  Birds fit poetic subjects for me because they are so varied in their lifestyles and mating habits, to be compared with people. 

I haven’t said much about poetry in my blog although I’ve written it over the years and contributed to journals.  I guess I feel poetry speaks for itself.  However, I believe we are in a renaissance of poetry.  Contemporary poetry, for me, is as valid and astounding as any poetry ever written. 

So in celebration of the season, three poems.

Cedar waxwings  
Image courtesy of Ron Bird/

Was thinking
how tidings
of the city were shooed off
when I saw
a pirate eyepatch
on a bough crooking its twigs.

Cedar waxwing
and another
wearing shades
like a fender on the forehead
and soon a gang
of waxwings have landed
in the yard trees.

Still they are
and gray
having the sinister
switchblade quickness of
keys at dusk.

In a second
the time of
a shriek
or a shooing
they've sped
like passing suspicions
into newsprint on the
sallow sky.

First published in streetcake

Image published courtesy of Christian Meyn/

14 karat hummingbird   

Ready to sit and shimmer
she watches
                        him in a luxurious gust
                        buds and rubies overlapped
it’s a Christmas kind of occasion

her subdued
                        He zooms large and near
he zaps himself small and far.

                        Under neon waterfalls
                        girls go out downtown nights.
                        By daylight the guy’s taillights
                        flash from lane to lane.

                                                Shopping she ponders
                        what’s keeping them apart.

Time is jewel-studded and ticking
                        when a hummingbird
                        finangles in the sun

dangling like filigree.
                        Decided as the lover rushing
                                                with a charged diamond
                        somersaulting out of
                        a small velvet casket.

Just so two upwardlies understand their swiftness
and the honey and the oh-so-lengthened letdowns.

First published in Ygdrasil

Blue heron    
Image published courtesy of Michael Elliot

blue heron on the
island   circumference
of a garage   where
the settler this side

of the bay squatted
duck hunting   a circle
traced around him
the naiad-mystic

ripples humming from
the cool cauldron

one heron   one rock
one cloth of moss
one pine   one boat
one man   one duck

one wild onion
one heron   one leg
one fish   one water

a lookout raised
himself from
the shrinking

area of an office
area of a sunroom
of a stilty fir
sinking in marsh silt

and the waves
fish scale lustrous
where we sisters paddle
with lengthened

arms   lake-brisked eyes
canoe-logging along
to see the heron
the remembered   closely

from the spindle
the blue heron whirs
spins adrift   cloud
of sky camouflage

First published in Ygdrasil