Five Birds — Three Poems

The Cardinals

I traced the cardinals’ breasts into the canopy
Red strokes, blurred across
The honey locust’s pinnate feather wings
They were hosted in the leaflets
Stunning one another in vermilion sorcery

Head cocked and saffron crowned
The lady up and dove through the verdant stand
And disappeared into the wood
Darting round the knotted copse
And out, into the silence

The Magpies

A pair of magpies
Startled in the brambles
Flapped and rose out
Of thorns and morning dew
And let me see their
Ghostly eyes, dark-cast beads
Of stoic open wonder

Blinding black and white,
I saw chess upon their wings
And after a mocking dance,
Of knight and stalwart bishop,
They sprung up
Through the canopy
And laughed at me
And dawn’s lost stars

The Sparrow

The sparrow’s path
Hooked through the sun’s
Bright and bleeding rays,
Then burst through
A vast and clouded
Tortured teardrop
To undo the
Groaning
Aches
And pain
And seal his love
upon the world

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