“Flights of Fancy & Plumes for Thought”

First, the inspiration for this poem:

I’ve held a lifelong love of birds. I’ve owned many (among my mother, sister, and me, we’ve had parakeets, lovebirds, cockatiels, an African grey, moluccan cockatoo, double-yellow naped Amazon, and a blue & gold Macaw), my grandfather used to feed and watch the birds around his house (binoculars and the Audubon’s field guide to north American birds (which I inherited) were never far from reach; he cleaned and refilled both birdbaths daily; eventually left nuts and seeds on the ground as well to deter squirrels and chipmunks from taking from the various feeders), as a small child they fascinated me even before we owned any. I always collected feathers found in my yard, used them in play w toys, put them in my hair. Once, my father even made me a “quill” pen, using a molted flight feather of a Canada goose and the ink tube from a Bic pen; I loved and used it for ages until the feather’s sheath finally cracked beyond repair.

I suppose none of that has any direct correlation to the poem, really, but I do love them and to this day still attempt to mimic their sounds and pretend I’m actually “conversing” with them.

So, without any further ado:

“Flights of Fancy & Plumes for Thought”

As a child, my every
Whim took flight on bird wings;
Blue Jays with crested heads
Dropped plumes of promise,
Colored in blue between lines of
Black and white: colorful
Dreams amidst reality.
The bluejays never tarried long,
A glimpse of what might be, then
Gone.

Red-breasted robins held
My dreams to heart,
Nurturing and
Ever watchful, long months
Spent in my trees, their home.
When cold winds arose,
They took to a warmer clime.
Spring would bring their return,
Always with my deans still safely
Sheltered.

Gone is my youth,
And so, too, the wistful jays;
Red-breasts have faded, as
If in forlorn sorrow.

The trills of the ever-present redwing
Call me now toward my middle years.
Warbling entreaties to
Friends or mates, echo my own.
They listen, and again return, for
A favorable response which
Never falters.
I hear their calls and replies
While mine are met with
Silence.

My life full of stories, with
Whom no one to share;
Books are my beloved, their characters
My favorite friends, cherished
For years, upon their journeys and
Tales, as I move through mine.
My words my only precious
Children.

Meanwhile, the vulture of Time
Wheels patiently overhead, overshadowing
As it awaits my final
Line.

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