Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A small bird, dark . . .

Cherry blossoms from the spring of 2007 in Japan!

Sometimes it pays to go backwards---maybe just a little way---
maybe a long way. I have finally gotten my hands on a copy of
Burned Kilim by Robert Pesich
published by Dragonfly Press in 2001.
My first memory of Robert Pesich was my observation of him 
at the Foothill Writer's Conference many years before that, 
seated on stairs talking earnestly to another poet. (I think it was Henry Carlisle.)
Their serious expressions impressed me, and I might have been 
a little jealous of the attention
young male poets often received in these situations. . . 
The book turns out to be worth serious attention, with very interesting subject matter 
and excellent handling of the language and themes throughout.
Here is the one I chose for tonight.

A Window in the City

I was in the back, in the bathroom,
reading the Times on the toilet,
a small article under a yellow night-light
because the switch was blown.
"Old woman finds infant in dumpster,
revives him with songs."
It was then that I could hear
someone knocking on the neglected
window in the corner, above my face.
A small bird, dark as my eyes
returning to her chicks.
The nest wedged against the hinge
keeping the window open with its woven
mouth of mud, grass, and tangled
cassette tape holding my voice,
a few words, a brief song, made useful.
Tiny ligature of a greater voice
that brings me to the window.
Black back-alley, bricks,
dumpster and sour diesel.
The birds resting in my breath
while outside, someone shatters
a glass, or a mirror
under a brief snow of blossoms
floating down from somewhere.

Robert Pesich 

Burnt Kilim
Dragonfly Press, Mountain View, California, 2001, page 47.

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