The title refers to a lovely painting by Melva H. Olmos that I picked up on a card while visiting Panama. The poem relates to parroting, competition and the experience of bird watching.
Ah, Red Macaw, you are the pestilence
in my day, soaring far, far overhead
squawking and screaming
your face overheated and red
beak too portentous
for sweets, gobbling and demanding
if ever you stop, but the leaves
have no leavening, you’re all feed
and poop and mar my day.
Even though I seek you out
you escape, Scotch-free,
wearing a tartan of betrayal.
Who you seem to be
righter of words, merely mimics
what experience I bring
with my heart and days. I want to
wear flames, gold, drink juices
that drip from the blues of my mouth.
You wear my head where I have shadow.
You wear my flight, straight and narrow
Branching and diving and soaring.
You wear my hunger for the sweetness
of truth, but follow only my path
Where is yours? Where is your course?
Of course. Your caw, screams
Why don’t you speak your own language
Know your own. Your home.
Instead of mine.