Thursday, April 12, 2012

Poetry and its Readers

For Jacob

The raffish squeal of chickadees,
Infectious grosbeak shriek,
Like tele-type to ticker-tape
The woodpecker’s critique
To petals while the kestrel sighs
At hollow threats from crows,
A din of sparrows cracking wise
To sputtering juncos,
The cowbird and the yellowthroat
Trill spins on daily yarns,
The truth, uncomfortable for gulls
Consoles the owls in barns,
Socratic ducks and scrupulous geese
Chase its elusive prize
While mourning doves slow down the beat,
Quails forever surprised.

And all of this to speak to us
In hopes that we might hear;
All glottal stops and sibilants,
They can’t quite pierce our ear
Beyond the racket of their reeds
To say how great our own words are,
Our joyful horns and happy sirens,
Conversant blues guitar.
We bind ears with Ulysses wax
To think past all their clatters
And dream of sounds from far away,
Of peeling to what matters.
Words whirr our throat as they emerge,
As if they should be heard,
It’s in there, worms we never caught,
The poetry of bird.


Hannah Stephenson said...

Joy in sound and sounds from far away. What an excellent definition.

Anonymous said...

Perfectly put.