The Bird by Patrick Lane


The bird you captured is dead.
I told you it would die
but you would not learn
from my telling. You wanted
to cage a bird in your hands
and learn to fly.

Listen again.
You must not handle birds.
They cannot fly through your fingers.
You are not a nest
and a feather is
not made of blood and bone.

Only words
can fly for you like birds
on the wall of the sun.
A bird is a poem
that talks of the end of cages.

Stream of Thought

(internet photo)

Sounds and smells swirl.
A muddy pile
ready for trash can,
or possibly recycling.

Words recycle themselves
on the page,
powerless to escape
the strike of the pen.
Smooth ink flows.
A river confident in its strength,
its ability to carve landscapes,
reshape its borders.

Fence posts to navigate.
Or, maybe, grab onto
if the water gets too rough.

Napkin Writer

Words gush to the surface
like bubbles in a poured glass of Prosecco
rapidly fill a glass
then settle, continuing to gurgle, roil and fizz
These words are unsettled
want to be expressed
need to be released
before disappearing into oblivion
unable to be recalled
simply gone

Like pop rocks on the tongue
producing an explosion of flavours and sound
that quickly disappear
these words are a flash
of concepts and impressions
in danger of dispersing
without being understood

Furtively I look for a vessel
for these tumbling thoughts
no paper to be found
a large white dinner napkin
becomes the carafe

This unlikely flagon
now absorbs and holds the ink of a pen
breathes words unspoken
Meant to be crumpled and disposed
for a moment this simple means
designed to wipe away excess or spillage
becomes a keeper of words
thoughts made conscious
Alive on soft white cotton