Thursday, November 04, 2004

POEM - Birdwatching In Babylon


My salvation is beauty’s kiss --
It approaches me like a windy spiral
of foppish leaves' dancing denial.
It leaves me with wonkish truths
Which bolster me with deepened roots.


For Mesopotamia, now midnight soot,
Has acquiesced beneath the boot;
From humankind this snake has grown
Hoping to consume its own
body, from start to end and head to tail
Where human life first burst forth, now it flails.


As it was in the beginning,
Is now and ever shall be;

A world of endless suffering;
Saved from pagan idolatry;
Carved from empire’s ideology;
Inflated by ambition’s puffery.


I seek what is invisible
Like birding in Babylon, an indivisible
faith in delicate things:
Feathers and song, and iridescent wings;
perched on fetid branches, rest small drops of color
sporting costumes that dress war’s dolor.

It scours me pure like sandstorm grit.

It seeps like ink into my vision,
I am shorn and weakened like noble Sampson;
by a willow warbler’s lyric face
Or the fecund insistence of a fruit fly’s grace,

These are things that make themselves known,
If Wisdom is my head, then beauty is my bone.


MB 2004

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