Napo 23

I got behind again. I don't think I'll make the 30/30 goal this year, but maybe that's ok. Here's one I wrote today, a sort of ars poetica. I usually HATE ars poeticas, but the prompt was to try one, and the purpose of 30/30 for me is to really try new things.

To My Students

Your poems may not always sing
like a mockingbird’s crepuscular serenade.
They may not always trill with the wind
In spring, tinged with love and lust
and magnolia blossoms opening
their wide eyes to the world.

They may not always sit on a wooden fence
On another peaceful southern morning
Calling out to other mockingbirds
With beauty. Always beauty.

And that’s ok. Some songs
have a greater purpose than melody.

Come dusk, today, a chick
Must be nestled in the branches of an oak
In my backyard. The song its parents sing
isn’t beautiful—it’s a war cry,
a warning to the waiting cat below,
that they, like a poem, can dive-bomb
down from the sky, beak pursed,
ready to hit the powerful, the huge,
the insurmountable hunger of the world
straight in the heart.

The birds sing, then for the future—
a song that hurts the ears to hear,
that reminds me, the listener,
of the violent dance of our world,
predator and prey, powerful and powerless,
the tiny chick, the tiny chance it will survive
in this neighborhood filled with mouths
and teeth and throats. But on the heels
of their tender song comes the chance
that maybe, maybe, maybe
the chick will live to trill a song
all her own someday.

May your poems,
Sing like this.