The Year Of Broken Birds

 

It was a year that broke open every bird,
killed the sky with loneliness
and choked every throat with the smoke of its own songs, burning.

It was the year my son lived on earthquakes,
the time of blade tongues
and poison drugs, ugly betrayals and back door bullshit.

When divorcing, wear a black wedding dress,
drain love like old gasoline
and kiss stench-breath vultures like you mean it.

The good man grown is still the coffin of the boy I raised.
Who is this, holding my grand daughter?
We tried to save each other, and did, but with new skins.

Starlings nest noisily in dawn chimneys.
Blackbirds wear old angers coolly on their shoulders.
I learn from them,
learn from solitude,
learn from time passing,
and am content enough, having done all I could.
______________

for dverse poetics "from a place of pain"




Comments

  1. You write of your pain with immense beauty and the grace of acceptance:

    'Starlings nest noisily in dawn chimneys.
    Blackbirds wear old angers coolly on their shoulders,
    and I learn from them,'

    Such wisdom in those feathered teachers!

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  2. Saving each other rings true, Shay. And granddaughter too♥️

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  3. Yes! "We tried to save each other, but with new skins." Such amazing lines in this poem. I most love your poems about your life. The divorce images are Just. So. Good.

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  4. "..the smoke of it's own songs, burning.." I don't think I've ever read anything as down to earth and real as this, about the pain of divorce, and the way it accumulates its collateral damage from what was once as pure as music. They say that of the things we experience as trauma in this life, divorce is equivalent to what we feel at a death, and here you make that plain, in the echo of pain in every line, in the way what we once treasured morphs into what can hurt us most, and in how precious what we salvage becomes. Just excellent, unaffected, fine writing, Shay, clean as sun-bleached bone.

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  5. It's funny how you and I both write about our breakup years. I like how you describe your son now, especially saving each other in new skins. I hope this is autobiographical, as I hope you really have a beautiful grand-daughter. Mine is the light of my life. Much love, Mosk

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    Replies
    1. Yes, she is quite real, and sees the world as her oyster!

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  6. This is so visceral and powerful.
    "I learn from them,
    learn from solitude,
    learn from time passing,
    and am content enough, having done all I could." Love the acceptance.

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  7. Oh my gosh, your words bring out so much pain and agony. As they should. I feel every one of them personally. They bring the memories of living through them (I lost a daughter ) even though 13 years have gone by. It's a good thing, though. One lets the pain and sorrow fester, pushing it down, thinking it is over, but your words wash the soul clean again to, to accept and start over. To bring the spirit to the present. Awesome write!

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  8. When divorcing, wear a black wedding dress,
    drain love like old gasoline
    and kiss stench-breath vultures like you mean it.

    darkly true... much love for this poem

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  9. just, the tag. fire blossoms. says so much.
    maybe I shouldn't listen to Mandolin Orange while reading your stuff. or maybe just listen again. ~

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  10. I can almost hear Neil Young singing this. Birds are such strong metaphors for both foreboding and present beauty. You use them in your own special evocative way, "old angers cooly on their shoulders". i found this piece painfully hopeful.

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  11. Coming out from such painful years wearing those new skins is so very powerful.

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