Saturday, March 22, 2008

Retying the entire floral encasing

Retying the entire floral encasing,
the bird lands where it started,
in its steel beak an olive branch
for all that is hostile to bird.

This city has no love for birds
that dip out of its glass encasing,
that disdain its golden branch,
that deny the egg where they started,

or deign, This is just where I started,
the egg that comes before the bird,
the necessary staging branch
for flight out of the wooden case.

sing against the city where one started
till the bird becomes the olive branch.


Shropshirelad said...

Lovely and interesting sequence.

Several things stand out in my mind: the embedded rhyming mirrors, the church like a boat, the exasperated, When is the boat! The strawberry heart--wonderful, delicious, and so anatomically accurate! I never thought of heart like that before; the sinister and elaborately disguised sexual escapades behind the window glass.

The most arresting line in the sequence is the last line, where the bird becomes an olive branch.

I am curious about this line especially. I suppose a dove is implied, from the olive branch.

But I am wondering if you also had something more vulgar, and vernacular in mind with this bird transformed into a branch--the immemorial middle finger--what the Romans called the digitus impudicus.

Perhaps I am reading things too symbolically. But I am going to go with my gut--which tells me no. This is poetry, not magic.

It is not everyone, you know, who can turn a gesture of violence into one of peace.


Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks, shropeshireland. I'm glad you like the sequence so far. I am vulgar and venacular, but not this time, at least in my conscious mind.

Shropshirelad said...


I would be very reluctant to implicate your subconscious in my misreading...

I must remember not to have poetic thoughts before noon on Saturday. I only embarass myself. In the future, I shall restrict myself solely to sex and hot coffee.


Incidentally, I like where the sequence is heading in today's installment. Very powerful stuff. There is something about those flags which reminds me of that little case in "Gare du Midi", by Auden...