Scribed across the trail,
translations of ancient runes
scratched across the winter path-
the hieroglyphics of bird tracks.
Smudged and spotted,
the ancient ivory parchment reveals
the deepest snows
of the long winters day.
Delicately drawn lines of gold
etched on each twig and stem-
illuminated by the sun.
I sweep autumn leaves from the porch
and listen to the crows caw
from across the dry meadow,
the only birds still in residence.
The trees are empty.
The birds have abandoned me.
Are there runes scraped into the bark of the cedar,
just outside the window?
‘Beware all life is fleeting, flee!’
Soon the mirrors will be covered
and voices hushed
in winters sorrow.
I miss their songs.
I miss feeling their presence-
the feathers left in my path
as if angels were near,
watching and protecting.
But the trees are now deserted-
all the winged creatures
alone to keep vigil
in the beginning of the fall.
joyous wings fetch the blue of the sky
to lance in wing and song
spilled hearts reign to earth
in tales of icarus’ flight and fall
winged children of sky and wind
whose language trebles
each ear and mind
sound out your joy and holy cause
without signal of sadness
rejoice in hymns of seed and bloom
of resonance and redemption
let all creatures upon the earth
look to cloudless heaven
and glory in wings and feathers
and righteous song
Wrapped in white porcelain, hollowed inside the ovoid sphere,
Does the tiny embryonic bird dream of wings?
Its cells divide and compound its being, making this bit bone
And that bit feather. Its throat filled with amniotic fluid,
Where its song will lodge. Does it dream of the rainforest
Or magenta petals of the flower? Newly created feathers
Sprout from cells whose calling are colors of blue or red
Or green. Does the forming Aves dream of brilliant skies,
the feel of the wind under those fetal wings? Is the map
to migratory destinations written in its infant marrow?
The fragility of bone, flesh, flight, feathers, heart,
Blood, song, wings- does the tiny nascent bird dream?