The Forgotten Birds

Forget birds.
All they want to do is sing, anyway.

Draw flowers out by lizard's tongue;
leave them language pooling in their blooms
with a hundred words,
a thousand subtle shades
of one feeling, a pollen of blue starvation.

Don't walk on the wet grass.
It will pack the earth, stunt the roots,
and then you will have to take the same worn path every day
until screaming seems normal,
and the sun comes out like a gaudy so-what.

Some asshole called me "sir" today.
Don't set prickly lettuce in a tourist trap coffee cup on my table
and call it anything but what it is--
weed and kitsch.
Do you know what this is, this skin-trapped life, this leggy vine going on?
And where is the gardener?
Lazy absent bastard.

I have a second-floor window box
five steps from my bed, if I still bothered to get up.
Every morning, the sun rises out of it,
facing east as it does,
a cemetery of little plastic sticks, evidence of the ghosts of myself.

Forget summer.
I wish it were winter, cold and dark as a banshee's hair in the wind.
Forget that stooge, hope,
forget her face and your garden homage to her;
forget spring's vacant creeping stupidity,
forget May.

And forget birds--
they only want to sing anyway. 

for Marian's music challenge at Real Toads, today featuring Jonatha Brooke.




Marian said…
"Forget that stooge, hope." and yet somehow this strikes me as a glimmer of hope. xo
hedgewitch said…
"..a pollen of blue starvation..." This is full of striking lines, Shay.
TexWisGirl said…
how terribly sad. but i feel it.
Jim said…
I've seen many rutted paths in my life. Thanks for memories. For men the older you get the more "sir's" you get. When you get older still the begin to pat you. When these things happen you are no longer in the group of "in's$.

If you are a lady and they call you sir just tell yourself that it seems the whole world is soon to be needing glasses. Change your looks and types of accessories and that make help too.

I'm liking this, Shay. Very clearly your poet is getting up on the wrong side of the bed again. The birds? Right on. All they do is sing and poop on your railings and the walks. I know.
Susan said…
WOW! This poem bulges with depressed hope, strongest at "weed and kitch" just before the window box and bed. Thank you, thank you. Yesterday I cried when the birds' song blended melodies and harmonies and I didn't know why.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
"this skin-trapped life...." this poem is an amazement of highly original imagery, as usual. The feelings so palpable they changed my mood. That is powerful writing.
Linda said…
Sorry I am late, dear Shay...happy birthday to you! Sending you a hug. :)
Susie Clevenger said…
"the sun comes out like a gaudy so-what" That is just one of the many lines I love. So much to forget, but we can't/won't. Great piece Shay!
Kay L. Davies said…
Wow, Shay. You never cease to amaze me.
Luv, K
Kay L. Davies said…
Me again. I absolutely had to click on the picture of the horse, the girl, and the wheelchair. Wonderful photo.
Kathryn Dyche said…
This one is on fire . . .
Anonymous said…
Wonderful longing lines. Not so forgettable. K.
Kerry O'Connor said…
What a way to take all the cliches about spring and summer, screw them up into a ball and fling them at your reader. Take that, suckers!

Haha! I love this poem, Shay.
Helen said…
Shay's rules to live by ....
Joanna Jenkins said…
A very belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one very talented writer!!!
xo jj

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