Take two minutes out of unconnected
dawns selected for their literary
potential and merge them grammatically
according to evolutionary order.
Some species of thought seek the rocks
precipitated filled with cavities of colorless
busy squawking overlooking the sources
of sustenance and danger.
On other days the poet takes a bench
at the harbor lapping with hunches
written down torn apart and strewn
freely for scavengers to sniff at.
Each mouthful spoken by lovers
drenched in their bedroom willfulness
has a half-life of only a few hours
pulled like taffy into polished months.
Stringent lies the voice left behind
when the winds of course blow the mind
off the giving taking river’s surface
into the low and dry shining desert.
On this exceptional morning cacophony
of dove and chickadee of quail and jay
is joined by lectures old birds memorized
colored by what the kids had to say.
Two wings together never wrong
are as piercing and as mellow as song
turning into territorial definition
where environments clash and abutt.
Sparrows of my small village childhood
gulls in gangs over beach and dumpster are
meditations and studies between clamberings
up and down ice-planted trail to the beach.
Before and after class boots in snow or
lying on autumn grass looking at girls
measuring up what I could get against
what all the other peckers could swallow.
Then the years of pelican and heron
standing guard over small and challenged
a minute here seeing across a bayou
trusting vitality to respond to caring.
Then here before clocks are awake
sitting gazing into the hazy valley
trusting vitality out of no other option
patching together neural quilts for the kids.
Some thoughts coo some come out sharp
like robins’ beaks grabbing breakfasts
one of these days the children will ask me
what my melodies could mean to them.
I will have to warble a wise sequence
composed to make sense to them of my
behavioral pattern of aggressive avoidance
and noisy paternal pecking diligence.
At every age I have called for simplicity
to be condensed or carved out of density
whistle out of stone or branch out of insight
a sentence of syllables a pharmacy of harmony.
The harsh parts from the dry beds
in the same melody as soft entreating
windy essays over high ridges carrying
half-baked philosophy back to the flock.