The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

Stone Bird
By Pattiann Rogers

I remember you. You’re the one
who lifted your ancient bones
of fossil rock, pulled yourself free
of the strata like a plaster figure
rising from its own mold, became
flesh and feather, took wing,
arrested the sky.

You’re the one who, though marble,
floated as beautifully as a white
blossom on the pond all summer,
who, though skeletal and particled
like winter, glimmered as solid as a bird
of cut crystal in the icy trees.

You are redbird—sandstone
wings and agate eyes—at dusk.
You are greybird—polished granite
and pearl eyes—just before dawn,
midnight bird with a reflective
vacancy of heart like a mirror
of pure obsidian.

You’re the one who flew down
to that river from the heavens,
as if your form alone were the only
holy message needed. You were alabaster
then in the noonday sun.

Once I saw you rise without rising
from your prison pedestal
in the garden beneath the lime tree.
At that moment your ghost
in its haunting permeated every
regality of the forest with light,
reigned with disdain in thin air
above the mountain, sank in union
with the crosswinds of the sea.

I remember you. You’re the one
who entered in through my death
as if it were an open window
and you were the sound of the serenade
being sung outside for me, the words
of which, I know now, are of freedom
cast in stone forever.


Am eating Smartfood, chatting with a friend and half-watching Jarhead so forgive incoherency. I'm entitled to brainlessness, as hubby brought home Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties for the kids earlier, and not only did they want to watch the movie but to play all the games that came on the disc, so I had to listen to that music over and over. The news from New York was freaking me out, and worse, half of our county had a Code Blue in the schools, apparently because some kid said he was threatened by someone with a gun (turned out to be a hoax, and my own kids' schools were not affected, but the thought of it was really unpleasant). Am only half-watching Jarhead because it's so violent -- I wanted distraction for the evening, and not hostages on The Nine, either. Otherwise it was a relatively quiet day: I did a whole bunch of writing, editing, organizing and printing Pagan stuff I promised to share with a fellow heretical Jew. (Have only just realized that anotherjen who has left me fic feedback is the same Jennifer who wrote Magickal Judaism and whom I have known for years and years on Yahoo's Jewitchery list...I just ordered a copy of that for my mother, who doesn't quite get my circle rituals.)

Speaking of Paganism, I took younger son to violin, where I discovered that he has a recital smack in the middle of the Samhain ritual at beeej's to which I am planning to go. Hopefully son will forgive me if only one parent attends! In very small compensation, son has requested that I post photos of his violin teacher's cockatiels, whom he has dubbed Hungry Birdie and Itchy Birdie since he has never asked their given names. Every week we are required to arrive early enough to visit with the birds, which the teacher (whose house is a worse disaster area than mine, and that is really saying something) has offered to give to us, but we have nowhere to keep their cage where they would be safe from the Wrath of Cinnamon. Here they are:


In general it was a funny day for getting mail from long-distance connections -- got a note from an American folk singer living in the UK whose CD I reviewed several years ago, who apparently just found the review, and a note from someone who reads me at TrekToday and apparently realized we probably met at Shore Leave. And I got a note from a guy who runs a poetry magazine who apparently googled to see if the name was taken -- that happens with some regularity, and I get letters from people doing research on Margaret Anderson which always makes me happy. And speaking of happy, in a story sent on by apaulled, this is a case that Boston Legal should look into copying on the show -- if a man walks around his office naked, and no one sees him but a security camera, is it really indecency?

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