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Poetry Friday: Bird-Understander by Craig Arnold

January 6th, 2017 (06:00 am)

Current Mood: grateful
Current Song: California Dreamin' by The Mamas and the Papas

Of many reasons I love you here is one
the way you write me from the gate at the airport
so I can tell you everything will be alright
so you can tell me there is a bird
trapped in the terminal      all the people
ignoring it       because they do not know
what to do with it       except to leave it alone
until it scares itself to death
it makes you terribly terribly sad
You wish you could take the bird outside
and set it free or       (failing that)
call a bird-understander
to come help the bird
All you can do is notice the bird
and feel for the bird       and write
to tell me how language feels
impossibly useless
but you are wrong
You are a bird-understander
better than I could ever be
who make so many noises
and call them song
These are your own words
your way of noticing
and saying plainly
of not turning away
from hurt
you have offered them
to me       I am only
giving them back
if only I could show you
how very useless
they are not

- Bird-Understander by Craig Arnold

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Posted by: Kay McGriff (kaymcgriff)
Posted at: January 6th, 2017 10:05 pm (UTC)

Yes, words--and noticing another's plight -- do have power even when we feel helpless. I like how you offer the words back as a gift.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 6th, 2017 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Words

Words can heal.

Posted by: LInda Baie (LInda Baie)
Posted at: January 6th, 2017 11:41 pm (UTC)

Much love has been shared today, and this is a lovely one, full of strong emotion, clear feelings. It makes me smile!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 7th, 2017 01:11 am (UTC)
Re: Empathy

I'm glad it made you smile. Empathy is priceless.

Posted by: Violet Nesdoly (Violet Nesdoly)
Posted at: January 7th, 2017 12:02 am (UTC)
I'm inspired!

This is lovely and inspirational. I'd like to be more of a bird understander this year.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 7th, 2017 01:12 am (UTC)
RE: I'm inspired!

May you be understood, as well.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: January 7th, 2017 02:26 am (UTC)

I love imagining that the narrator of this beautifully-worded poem is not one to speak at length, and this piece holds everything s/he wishes s/he could share verbally -- May it give someone else the courage to speak up and share their support for someone they care about!

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