no. 81

exotic bird

you come upon me eagerly

as if i were some exotic bird

that you discovered in this unlikely place

something to put into the cage of your


to sit prettily and preen

while you puff yourself prideful

but then i open my mouth

and sing a song

brash and unexpected

vulgar to your ears

my feathers, gorgeous as they are

cannot disguise the common crow inside

embarrassed, you set me free

your face a mirror of my disgust

because i was not the bird you wanted

(written 4 may 2018)

no. 74

the return of the swans

three purposeful arrows they are

black iron-tipped and fletched white

from whose bow were they loosed

they do not wonder

their destination, their destiny

their synchronous flight marked

with such felicity by the hand

of some omnipotent deity

or perhaps by internal longing

for halcyon existence on a

distant but familiar lake

(written 27 april 2018)


no. 21 magpie revisited


magpie on the bush

why do i never hear your voice?

i imagine it is not as lovely as the song

of other, smaller birds.

but yet i long to hear you speak,

for your issue might be much more informative,

full of the mysteries of life and death

that humans and other more frivolous creatures

cannot comprehend.

maybe one day,

when i am not as close to this world as the next?

maybe then you will come to me in a vision;

your blue bordered wings sleek and noble,

your single-eyed gaze stripping me of

all pretention and charade of character.

you will sit upon my shoulder,

not so much an emissary but a guide

you will laugh and i will delight

in your voice for it will be to me

as beautiful as the sound of the stars.

(written 5 december 2017)