“The birds are a chorus…clearly relatives of Mozart”
– Jim Harrison (Day Nineteen – 28 Days of Unreason)


Bird, box, grave –
Mozart gave a funeral
For his starling*.

I may want more
For my Requiem,
But my Day of Judgment seems
Here, now, along this road,
Dies irea of dirt and sand.

A flock of birds
Unsung across the wires,
Wary of my approach
As any St. Peter.

And startled, rise as one
When across the moor
A nail gun taps out Kyrie
To closing wood.

*Wikipedia: Mozart's Starling

The Garden

You said “jacaranda”
And I “bougainvillea”,
But neither of us know a thing
About either other than
The divine comedy of
Loving words,
Like when we didn’t know
The names for birds
So we invented them –
Marmalade Bunting,
Clicky-Throated Sparrow
The Tobias Finch –
The error of our ways
Like the joyous mistakes
Of Creation,
In the beginning
Was the Word
As God was just
Making stuff up
And here we are


For Wednesday Poetry Prompts

Life Jacket

“Saw a poem float by just beneath the surface”
– Jim Harrison (Day Seventeen – 28 Days of Unreason)

Poems like water wings
Flotation devices
Strapped around our arms
Our chests our necks
Their gallows promise of not drowning
Holding on at/above/just under
The surface coughing out love
Hoping to breathe like the air itself
Our hearts sharked and slippery
Then slipping over on our backs
Floating forever
Gulls floating forever
Overhead like forever
Sunburned onto our faces
Drunken and dunked in our
Breathtakingly cool skin and
Hoping we will
Live forever.

Charwoman Calligraphy

“Art often isn’t [nice] though it scrubs the soul fresh”
– Jim Harrison (Day Fifteen – 28 Days of Unreason)

The scour of carbolic
Is the most China smell I know –
The granite stripping scrub
Of every lobby, bathroom, terminal,
Mall, subway, and hall without end.
As if under Communism
There is only one factory
For Janitor in a Drum.
It is the smell of Forward!
And Upward!
A poem of the Revolution
Written with mops
For brushes.


*With apologies to Colin Lee