birding / breakage

living so close to nature
nature is forced to live
too close to us

barking, braying, biting
animals on wheels
endless animals —
ourselves and others
crushed beneath the treads

in the desert, murderers steal her name
slip into the crown of Isis, an empty throne
a horned sun, a winged kite
play-pretend at Calipha

they are not the daughter of earth and sky
no knowledge of nature or magic
they do not protect the dead, the children,
the women, the widow

they chase the Yazidi unto death,
the children of seven ragged angels
nesting in a scar-shaped mountain range

for 7000 years
their peacock bird god cried
his tears filling 7 jars
to quench the fires of hell
but left them nothing to drink

some mothers flung their birds
over the side of the dusty mountain
while here in the land of broken bounty
some beautiful man named for a bird
flung himself off the blue egg

“the mother came looking
for her lost baby bird,” she wept

I emerge from the forest with
pinecones, a lichen branch
a pouch of feathers
scraps of butterfly wings
a thousand flowers trampled
trying to fly
it is the only way I know to pray

They say Zoroaster, the undiluted star
was born laughing instead of crying
while fetching water he discovered
a singular light that was god
and we were blinded forever
by the gift of religion

the cosmic egg cracked
and the golden light poured
the top shell of sky rose
the dark shell bottom of earth fell

there is always an egg or a seed
there must always be dark ground
all things, forever rooted, reaching for light
and water to feed or to breathe in

“so much rain,” she said
“is it a sign?” she asks

blue bits of eggshell
against cement
like shattered sky
“The shell must break
before the bird can fly.”


[image | robin's blue egg | Mary Jo Huffman]

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