Through the Eyes of a Bird in the Tulip Tree

The soul gives rise to the morning.

The golden, quick-dying forsythia languish

Long enough for the sky-born glint

Of the blue jay to rest noisily

In the cradle of the tulip tree that is

Without leaves or majesty and

Thoroughly picked over by the red-

Bellied woodpecker that pecks

His way through this worm-rotted

Piece of rooted flotsam and jetsam

That sways in the breeze like a ship

Torn from anchor in a wicked storm.

We receive an image in a dream

And it hovers on the edge of the nonsense

Quotient delivered by the exacting mind.

We fight this early death, finding a metaphor

To carry the flight of a bird beyond

Our normal practice. Are we looking at

Plato’s first bird of spring or is the blue jay

A god from another time when Plotinus said

That what we imagine heals us? Do we

Go further into spectacle and worship

This blue thing on an altar in the middle

Of the forest at a punishing midnight mass

When prayers are logged and counted?

Or do we go with Jung and see the blue jay

As one fleeting moment of compensation

For a soul lacking color, the ability to fly

And words that do not become flesh?

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