Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blackbird - I think



Blackbird - I think

For years I was convinced it was a blackbird.
Now someone assures me it's a thrush.
Oh, what the heck, blackbird or thrush,
this bird sings like no other, no thrush or
blackbird known on earth, his song is
unique, spontaneous, jazz, a riff - or
several dozen of them - or a
street magician’s magic, a
pack of cards pitched through the
air, purloined again.

Of course, now that I start to write
about him, he stops. Only half a dozen
sparrows continue their diminutive
plainsong sans harmony, sans melody,
barely rhythmic. They wait for the master
musician-thrush-or-blackbird that God
invested with this extraordinary
ability to never muck the music up.

For a few seconds he starts up again,
but aware I’m writing about him, he
feels exposed, naked on his branched perch,
and stops. Goes home for tea perhaps.

Flitting past, a rustic sparrow
picks at a crumb or worm and
paraphrases Billy Collins at me:
Mostly poetry fills you with the
urge to write poetry.
‘Put Billy aside,’
he chirps, ‘and let the bird sing, unaccompanied by
your pitiful attempts to describe the song of a
avian whose name you can’t even decide on.’
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