Thursday, June 20, 2013

Winter Bird


This is why I hide where the winter bird sings,
Chafing hands to warm besides
Tears deep in the heart of things.
Why I abide, hope without pride,
Ride out my future on forfeited wings.

This is where I kip, in a No Man’s Land
Between the salt water and the sea strand.
Armies arrayed on either side
Of a narrow band
With a hair’s breadth divide.

Armies on either side:
Who set them out with such precision?
Chessboard pieces awaiting decision.

Gambits like rabbits
Fast through the field

You learned every stance, every right move,
Missing your chance to love.

In the Hour of the Hun
Nothing can be done
To ward off derision.

May it please the Court.

I wrought the serif –
But I swear there was no recompense.

I sought the seraphim –
But I swear that I am innocent.

Not of sin, no, never:
Life without sin is sealed forever.

Innocent of making silent retreat
Innocent of desire without deceit
Innocent of crimes you laid at my feet.

 May it please the Court.

Truly, gladly, madly,
Nothing addled.

There’s no fairness in love,
No festival above.

Accused by time,
Stand we convicted,
With our symbols and signs,
Of illegal rhymes?

This is why I wait for the late moonrise,
Chafing hands to warm my pride,
Holding a bird that shudders and dies,  
Breath deep in the mind of things.
A bird that dies to rise and sing.

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