whispers the bird. Black-feather, red-wing,
could there be wisdom in the song you sing?
Nestled in deep desire, you kindle an intuitive
fire: craving for the shade of conifers, the longing
woodfires of apple and oak, sweet cinders
blistering coals; my sunset poetry, your sunrise song,
this is the gallivanting of the isolated mind —
a handwritten recluse, my space is in shambles;
a typewritten excuse, cyberspace breathes down my neck.
“Solitude,” cries the bird, “is our only solace!”
What a sad wretch you must be.
The town, the community, my family, the state.
I perch upon the crooked porch and watch them all
admire my hollow disguises — “Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves.”
The bird speaks these quicksilver words to me:
“We twist, flutter, and turn, ‘behaving as the wind behaves’,” —
knowing that alone with pen or lettered keys no voices will disturb me.
The squawks of crows, the mumbling of flames, the smell of steeping tea,
the buzz of electric light, the stirring wisp of dust, the taste of bitter wine
upon the lonely quiet of my mind, under the flickering shadows of dreams and trees,
in the afternoon light, up all night, asleep all morning —
all impressions and expressions of solace sought, solace found,
far from the penetrating presence of others. It is not sour or sullen here, no;
I can admire the woods behaving as the wind behaves,
the profundity of space and time, the place of my soul.
The chirps of the blackbird outside my window, alone
you black-feather, red-wing, I hear solace sing.
t. hrafn noyes