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?