all the pretty birdswalk but not quickly thru the crooked townall the pretty birds8 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
& look at this universal splendor:
there are tilted alleys with houses of trash,
lodging magpies & hollow bags of brass
belongings worth less than fury & sound.
this: a town dually in black & in white.
kings of unclaimed crowns crow at the ravens
that rapaciously pace on broken walks
while in the tall towers peddle the hawks,
preying devoutly & clearing their throats,
swallowing themselves from cups & glasses.
& on corners the loons & the cuckoos
parrot phrases they have heard on the street:
my family tree is losing its leaves.
youre just an albatross, we tell the loons,
who grouse at pigeons for sake of sparrow:
two for a farthing & now five for two.
the pigeons say no & they fly away
to roost in identical parts of town,
to line & comfort the nests of others
with shreds of greenest leaves, pounds of heavy flesh.
how cardinal it is to keep cuckoos
behind cold meshwire fencing & gates,
without a nightingale: to nurse the wounds,