Sunday, November 27, 2011

Western Meadowlark

Here we have
the western meadowlark: he haunts
the wind-rippled pools of grass between

the heavy hooded cedars and the firs,
where the scars of Indian-set fires
have faded to weed and lupine.

But I heard him first in a trash field
where rolls of barbed wire fence
dripped rust onto abandoned concrete walls;

I was alone, shut out, fleeing real
or imagined injuries, but I stopped:
shocked, appalled, and grateful,

that cowering in some
industrial parody of “a dip or depression
such as a cow footprint”

and fleeing persecution
far more systematic than mine,
he would still bring his flute out of his coat,

and play for himself, for his two wives,
and even for his enemy.


In response to this Morning Porch post.

7 comments:

Peter said...

Nice contrast between the first two stanzas and the third, though "scars" and "faded" hint at what's coming. You get so much out of a few phrases throughout.

Those last three lines: wow.

I wonder about "abandoned" walls, and "injuries" doesn't seem like quite the right word.

I like how you find Dave pushing, and how you push back.

This poem is a trip I'm glad I've taken, three times now.

mm said...

I've just been on YouTube to find out what inspired you. Beautiful bird. And I like the poem very much.

Dale said...

Their song is amazing. Commonly you don't see them, you only hear them. Like Shelley's skylarks, but in this case not because they're too high, but because they're nuzzled under the grass.

Kathleen said...

Oh, how lovely and rich.

Ygraine said...

A truly evocative poem.

I love it:)

Deb said...

A favorite bird. A wonderful poem. xo

Lucy said...

A perfect bird poem. They do that, some of them, it never ceases to amaze me.