Monday Poem

Begin

flames are the feathers of this bird
but I’m not calling the fire brigade
—life burns life

this is a particular bird
whose flame is multitudinous red
with flamboyant nuance:
high-frequency colorwheels thrown in
and well-played purple notes of a bass line
in its wings

—but “multitudinous” fails to tell the tale
of this bonfire bird,
a bird blown by algorithmic winds
at the keystrokes of a friend
lands blazing on my screen and sits
—this birdblaze with redgold beak
sharper than human wit

what do you say when a thing like this comes to light
which exceeds sunshine acid visions?
makes them lame

how to state the spectral luxury of this bird,
to see it, out on a limb, its satiating color
which some pure mind has wrought?

I could say, “Rufous-Backed Kingfisher”
or “Ceyx rufidorsa”

but how to really say it?
how to paint it?
how to see it?
how to hold it in mind’s eye?

don’t try, begin
.

Jim Culleny
12/11/18

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