Thursday, July 14, 2016

DEATH OF A SONGBIRD, BASTILLE DAY

DEATH OF A SONGBIRD, BASTILLE DAY
 

This morning I heard the drab towhee
calling out her plain one-note song.

She bobbed and wove like a supplicant
at the Wailing Wall. She kept calling out to him,
but there was no answering chirp or warble
from the wayward fledgling that I had rescued,
and placed near her nest in the lemon tree.
The yard felt emptier than usual. An echo, a sob.

I found the grounded chick in the driveway,
there was no escape from the habūb shadow of tires
running the gauntlet down carnelian curbs, they were
insurmountable as the Grand Canyon to one so small. 

Meanwhile, on the promenade in Nice, tourists dance & toast 
la Fête Nationale, fireworks blossom—oh la belle rouge!
while a terrorist mows down flocks of revelers with a truck.
Sirens wail an off key La Marseillaise in the distance.

Among, the fallen, 10 children. A woman lies on the ground
talking  to her dead child who cannot answer. 
Small feathers of grief rise in the wind.

7/14/2016


Nice" derives from the Greek, "Nike," victory.



I have a feeling this poem will change, or even divide, as I revise it:

This morning I heard the towhee calling her one-note song. And no answering warble from her wayward chick. The yard felt emptier than usual. Sad to say, I found the chick, or his brother, squashed in the driveway, the salmon-painted curbs, insurmountable as the Grand Canyon to one so small.

3rd draft:
This morning I heard the towhee
calling out her plain one-note song.
But there was no answering warble
from the wayward fledgling that I had rescued,
and placed near her nest in the lemon tree.
The yard felt emptier than usual. An echo. A sob.
Sad to say, I found the chick, or his brother,
squashed in the driveway,
the dark shadoub shadow of tires (I meant haboob)
running the gauntlet of salmon-painted curbs,
insurmountable as the Grand Canyon
to one so small. Meanwhile, on the clement shores Nice,
a terrorist mows down flocks of beachgoers with his truck.
Sirens scream an off key La Marseillaise in the distance.
Small feathers of grief drift in the wind.

7/14/2016

an envoy I don't know whether or not to add.


She's hopping up and down the driveway, bobbing and weaving like someone at the wailing wall, she keeps calling out to him, he no longer answers, he lies so near her in the garden above the curb, but she can't see him, can't smell him. Meanwhile the ants begin their grim work, transforming the chick into another iteration of the self.

This is one clusterfucked global village. Words fail. I can no longer keep track of the atrocities. Can I even name them all?

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