Awakened from my walking reverie by movement ahead, I spy a Red-Tailed Hawk perched upon the wrought-iron railing of the flood-wall. The hawk is regal, stoic beauty. I stop walking in hopes of urging the bird of prey to stay its perch. It does, filling me with a sense of relief. I wonder why it let me get so close; if it was my calm, thoughts-up-in-the-clouds, meditative stroll that somehow rendered my thoughts and steps silent enough to catch the bird unawares. We eye each other, a bitter gust of mid-winter wind blows against my face; ruffles the back-feathers of the hawk. I am overwhelmed by a sensation how the two of us know exactly what we are, who we are, what we are supposed to be doing overall, but we are presently caught in a moment of unknowns, letting these unknowns erase the lines that keep us separate -- beast from human.
I take a step closer, causing the hawk to finally alight, and I am struck by its vibrant feathers adding a dash of colour to the surrounding monochromatic grays.
The hawk flies only a short distance ahead before landing on the railing again, so we re-enact the scene of this play. I come closer, closer, closer, until the hawk lifts up, flies a bit further along the river-walk, before landing again, until eventually it probably decides, that indeed, this human is going to traverse the entire path, for the hawk flies up into trees located further ahead. As I walk past the trees, the hawk launches out of an evergreen, with twigs in its talons. The bird flies over the river; a river made tumultuous by ice-melt.
in Winter's gray light
a Red-Tailed Hawk paints the sky
with its feathers,
my soul lifts, follows the bird
over an ice-gorged river
The hawk lands on the base of a church steeple, and disappears behind an ornately carved corner. It appears as if the steeple is attempting to pierce the snow-clouds with its tip, trying to tear gashes in the sky, until spring blue bleeds into gray. On this Tuesday afternoon, does the church seem personified because it is devoid of Sunday parishioners milling in and out of its thick wooden doors? No matter how hard the steeple tries to break-apart the clouds, the grand sky dwarfs the church, causing it to look like a toy model. The church fluctuates between looking like a miniature-scale model, and an architectural feat.
the steeple pierces clouds
looming overhead -
the snow-laden clouds
make the church appear small
Passing the church, I find it ironic how today the church is empty inside, yet on its steeple and roof-lines, countless animals are nesting, making this House of God their sanctuary. Slowly making my way home, I ponder about the hawk, how it is not only a predator amongst prey, but a predator amongst predators -- it flies around in plain sight, yet also hides right in the middle of the city. Coming up to the path leading to the back-door of my home, I scan a small trail of footprints in the snow. The footprints vary, but all are familiar to me.
It is at precisely this moment that I fully acknowledge the Red-Tailed Hawk and I to be kindred spirits; how similar we really are.
the path leading home
is a winding snowy trail
of few footprints,
for only my loved ones know
where I truly live
I do not know?
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!
I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!
Why Do I Write?
You ask me why I sing?
You ask me why I write?
You ask me why I bleed?
What choice have I besides?
I long to fly, to run away
To some safe haven just to play
To see the light of blessed day
And give my longing heart full sway
I want to grasp the star and moon
And live my life; t'will end too soon
And kiss the clouds up in the sky
But here am I, what choice have I?
Why do I sing?
Why do I cry?
Why write of pain
What choice have I?
I want with zeal to be adored
And I want Fame there at my door
I want IT ALL and so much more
Tell me, is anything for sure?
Why so I beat my wing?
I was born to soar…
Eileen Manassian Ghali
Little Blue Bird of rain.
Rain, rain go away.
Little Blue Bird of Rain, needs to shine again
In her version the sun dried, up all her tears
Leaving the rain inside the bird.
Destructive past sadden cheers.
Waking up to empty words
When abandoned by her peers.
Just not knowing what had just occurred.
Drowning herself in a life of Jane Doe.
Never know who she really is
When all she loves hanging her lowest moment
The rain brought out Mary-Jane.
As the bird lost its glow.
The rain tricked her once to use Cocaine.
As her feathers met that one Joe.
He broke her wing and brought more Rain.
Very young, very sweet.
Living her life in the fast lane.
Hard for her to stand on her feet.
Balanced her life on one leg, like the crane.
Curtains hang over her wings.
While she let no one near her domain.
While she flies through the heavy rain.
She finds her comfort with a pen.
Using the lords name in vain.
Cursing all her backstabbing friends
With no one around to explain?
All the sorrow left her on a railroad track.
Ending up like the runaway train.
Only she can get her life back.
If for myself I ever felt pain?
I felt more pain at what she wrote about.
In my face on my left side
Your poetry comes to life in my head.
Visions of her wanting to be dead.
Oh! How I wish this life she did not dread.
You hide the tears you shed so well.
A life with balls you cut the chains.
You dam! Your parents to go to hell.
Little Blue Bird of Rain, don't let them fools drive you insane.
Little Blue Bird of Rain.
If a sparrow could show you,
There is more to life than pain.
Under the umbrella the sparrow would cover you.
No one wants to see her colors drain.
What a world to master her feathers into art.
The gift of words runs through her vein
The paintings on her wall.
A dream of a bad seed of grain.
One day our Little Blue Bird will stand tall.
To free herself from all the Rain.
To: Rain aka- Joy Loveless
Our sweet 16 year old
When I was young and life was easy
I never thought but of the next day.
For the young, things can be so breezy
It is the child's way.
I never thought but of the next day
Until that day came upon me.
It is the child's way
And I did not want to see.
Until that day came upon me
I was carefree like the bird on high.
And I did not want to see
The dark adult horizons that would make me cry.
I was carefree like the bird on high
Only to be trapped by love
The dark adult horizons that would make me cry
Crushing me down from above.
Only to be trapped by love
For the young, things can be so breezy
Crushing me down from above
When I was young and life was easy.
Dan Cwiak ... written for:
Paula Swanson's Pantoum contest
Voice of Scandinavia
(learning to fly again)
In the twilight hour
Blue mountain range
Changing to dark giants
Mysterious figures springs
.. out of the steep hill sides
Hour of mysteries and fantasies
You`ve been runnin`for too long
Now you`ll be hiding in the dark
Protected behind Mother Nature`s shield
At the break of dawn
Mother Nature, relieve my pain
This time it may very well be my last
Take this injured bird up to the mountain range
Let it spread its wings, and learn to fly again
Soar above high mountain peaks
Colorful valleys - all from a birds eye
Its all I know.. All I ever wanted to know
Great Spirit of Nature.. keep me under your protective wings
Lift my soul and let it fly, let me learn to fly again
June 29th 2012
* Inspired by finding a little bird who had fallen out of its nest earlier this year.See ya:-)
Gazing, at its own reflection is the Magpie.
A magic bird, a mystical creature, with a soul
and the power to see things, the power of scrying.
It sees a tomb in ancient Egypt. It sees death.
A soul locked within a glorious bronze mirror,
Cleopatra and her Maid in a bond unbroken.
Time passes in silence as deep as the unbroken
promise of endless wisdom, gifted by the Magpie.
whose caws the Maid hears, within the depths of the mirror,
calls to the Queen, her Cleopatra, to her soul.
Magpie speaks to She on the Eastern Barge in the afterlife of death,
and to her Maid entombed. The sacred bird so near scrys.
The Magpie sits within oasis staring into the pool. It scrys
for all this time, its vigil, its protection, never broken.
Even when the sarcophagus is carried to the necropolis of the dead,
without, unknown, the bird speaks wisely through reflection, her Magpie.
Entombed, his Queen and her Maid, their bodies but not their souls,
Queen, Maid and Magpie, each cast a last gaze, alive within the mirror.
The Vows of Innocence, the Maid bespeaks the mirror.
Pleas to the Swallower of Shades, both Queen and Maid have scried
to The Burning One, and claim no lie, upon their soul.
As the light dims within the Maids eyes, in tomb unbroken,
she sees the life of her Queen and their Magpie
pass fast upon the brass, last breath of life and dying.
Oh, too soon the end, moans the Maid, I am dying.
Her life's reflection moves bronzed upon the mirror.
She screams, "My Queen," but hears only the caw of Magpie.
All around her other servants succumb and cry, whilst she sits scrying,
and the Magpie flies above in life entombed, eternity, unbroken.
As she beseeches all the Gods to save her soul.
The Magpie's spirit self moves within the mirror's soul.
He swoops gathering Cleopatra's essence, past the dying,
and brings her to the Maids side unbroken.
In afterlife upon the Eastern Barge they join the mirrored
whole, for he, the bird of magic, Magpie, has called and scried
it so. Part light of life, part dark of death, the Magpie.
The essence of each entwine united within this eternal mirror
for the Magpie cannot bear their deaths. He will protect and forever scry
in life the mirror sits unbroken a stolen bauble, and in it they dwell with the Magpie.
Dear freedom, your sweet innocent voice seems
Now like a distant echo, lost in the wind.
Hopes lost in a set of broken dreams,
With heavy chains, to your heart of stone pinned.
Day by day, night by night, without an end in sight,
Tortured by the ravaging beak of time, flying
With wings of solit'de, displaying its might,
And hatred-filled eyes, watching me dying.
These chains around my heart like a vicious snake
Poisoning my soul with darkness and despair.
A dreadful nightmare from which I will wake
And look into destiny's most wicked glare.
I stand under shadows cast by heaven's light,
And into sleep I fade, witho't a fight.
Looking all around me and becoming more aware,
Of the people and surroundings at which many children stare.
I come to terms and realize the acts of hate I see,
And now I fear that this same scene will soon envelope me.
Walking on a lonesome road, though crowded it may seem,
I pass through silent hordes of people hushing silent screams.
Beside me standing hand-in-hand, older man and wife,
I wonder if they thought like me, what happened to their life.
I reminisce now further back before these broken days,
A time of wasting food and drink and dressing different ways.
But now we all look just alike in tattered grays and browns,
Drifting through these damaged streets and sporting matching frowns.
I thought we'd left the two world wars and poverty behind,
To linger in our broken books and fill an older time.
A time where death would cloud the world with sorrow and disease,
And fear would plant itself within the innocent with ease.
This made me think and look around for Noah and his arc,
And for the first time since the night I heard a flustered lark.
I quickly turned around to spot within a child's hands,
An injured bird whose time had brought it here from other lands.
The child stole a piece of thread from a redbreast robin's nest,
And wrapped around the ailing bird a splint so it could rest.
An hour past the lark took flight and answered to the wild;
The only resting place of hope is in the bright eyes of a child.
Thump and flutter, scared me at first you see.
Again a flutter, flapping, what could it be,
Then as I peered at window above me,
What did my eyes look upon, oh golly gee?
Red bird upon the screen, was it a he or a she.
No matter of fact makes any difference to thee.
I grabbed my camera quick, before it could flee.
Zooming in with the lens, capturing it free,
Flittering, now still its tail spread outwardly.
Upon the flash, the red bird flew into a tree.
I quickly pressed buttons almost every key.
Hoping, I captured the red bird frantically.
I captured this redbird upon the screen easily.
Now I had proof of my midnight visit, truly.
This night, a beautiful red bird, visited quickly.
What purpose or sign did it have any physically?
No idea, maybe just a crazy red bird’s decree,
No matter what, it is a proven, real live story.
I do not know?
While the wind blew swiftly.
The bird flew thrifty.
Flapping its wings.
Faster and harder.
Against the wind.
The bird flew like it was blind.
Swirling all around the skyline.
All at once the wind calmed down.
The bird came through town.
Soaring its wings.
As it roared right past me.
To find rest upon a clothes line.