He's inside my mouth,
no, beside the road,
clinging to a May cattail.
It gets confusing, what's in,
what's out, like saying the sun's up
or down when we know it's none of those.
And words, even the good ones,
can only pepper the edge
of feelings, and that's what we're after here,
which means going down
the throat to get to where he lives.
But if l start smiling because
there's a bird inside me,
you can guess how long I'll be allowed out,
alone. So, like a few others,
to remain free, I play that down
when pointing to a world
that's not supposed to be,
which only means
they've been piling rocks on me
for years - - - an old Puritan trick - - - to get me
to come around to their god.
I must be Buddhist. The bell
has its own words for it - - - water, wind,
the quiet world a bird brings.
§ § §
The Pie Is Now
It's silly to talk to the peach tree
about future pies, that's why
we have portfolio managers
for those who want to get ahead,
which can be hell on a good night's sleep.
Birds ease into the morning.
They take it one sunrise at a time. Einstein
was interested in the future
but said the speed of light being constant,
we'd have to live into it.
For the Black-headed Grosbeak,
who's in my fruit tree,
the pie is now. So I'm learning to live
into seventy-one with a bird
whose only plan is flying
between peaches.--- From Such a Waste of Stars
©2017 by the author