for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

Stoned Bird (for One Shot Wednesday)

Night for us wraps the sun scruffy,
a rooster ruffled in flight, tossing
its last complaint: how long the wait
for three o’clock, the hour of
lead the hour to undo eternal

Unease stirs our beds made
of filaments, splinters
of our spirits borne on crumbs
we had long swallowed
then spewed out for
opaque dreams.

So unlike warblers, so
lacking their marrow-less lightness
to flitter on twigs, we toss in gales
to roost in flesh, demanding
silence as if to lure death
we must first die.

Straining to sing we cannot
either. If we were but robins, maybe
chords those daylong cries, those
dirges for absent mate, we may
un-shy declare—dark
is darker faith-less.

Who tears the pines in shreds,
pining notes so shrill these whirl
like tin stars? If we could
but like orioles blaze through our sadness
in the dark then singed, be land-
sobered but freed.

Yet, we are but ourselves un-cocked to night’s
endearments, tuned in to strident signals:
the steel-pipe whistles (if it were but Pan’s), the roar
under belly, a thud under foot then
the jingle of keys, a creak as joints
part to solitary landscapes

nightscapes where we have planted
monoliths that guiltless
we treasure priceless unlike we do our
spirit—this soundlessness in our
being, this singing bird
we have stoned.

I am posting this poem for One Shot Wednesday at the One Stop Poetry blog.
Join us – throw in your verses. Here are the rules (taken directly off their blog):
1. Write a poetic piece & post it on your blog
2. Then let us know about your post. Link back to One Shot
3. Sign up in the Mr Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you’ve posted it.
4. Go visit others who have signed up! Offer support & encouragement. Share your love of words and insight respectfully. Please try to visit as many participating poets as you can. We all could use and appreciate kind feedback.

December 15, 2010 - Posted by | free verse, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. lots of brilliant imagery through out this the end is rather sobering…as i may have stoned my bird…

    Comment by brian | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you, Brian! Your kind words are so uplifting. “Stoned Bird”…yes, we may have…

      Comment by alee9 | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  2. wow – what imagery in here – wanted to pick the lines i like much – but just too many of them – and great link to the bird we stoned..

    Comment by Claudia | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Dear Claudia, your one-sentence critiques of my poems like this one here have made my writing worth it! Thank you so much!

      Comment by alee9 | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  3. One of the best poems I’ve read in days, hands down. Every verse has an outstanding simile or metaphor, almost every line is a stunner. I don’t know how you could have written it any better. If I had to pick out some favorite lines, they would be “..Unease stirs our beds made/of filaments, splinters/of our spirits…” and “…lacking their marrow-less lightness…” what an image, as well as the last two verses in their entirety, where you drive home the substance of the poem. Don’t mean to gush, but this one really impressed me. Fine work.

    Comment by hedgewitch | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Dear Joy Ann,

      I’m overwhelmed that “almost every line is a stunner” in my poem!!!

      The truth is with each of my poems, I never really know if the lines work or if as a whole the poem works until read. From one like you who writes stunning lines, too, I think I should start believing in my lines. But then, how does one cope with a trance-like state when the lines write themselves? That’s how I often feel.

      Thank you so much again!


      Comment by alee9 | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. Nice One Shot! From the title, I first thought the bird would be stoned, like high. (Stoned like Easter Island, baby!)

    By the way, you have the longest (and most interesting) “About” section I’ve ever seen.

    Comment by Eric | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you, Eric!!! I know, my title would give “that” message but I kept it anyway.

      Comment by alee9 | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  5. Rich in symbolism, and the tone of questioning is poignant. “Who tears the pines in shreds,
    pining notes so shrill these whirl
    like tin stars?” Love that line most in a great poem! Cheers.

    Comment by dustus | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Adam,

      I thank you no end for your heart-fortifying comments! Now, I have written a “great poem”, too!

      Thank you as well, for the space you’ve given to a struggling-to-be poet–myself–and finding in it my iwngs.


      Comment by alee9 | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  6. Now here’s a poem that strikes me as strikingly well-thought out, and painstakingly executed. It delivers line-to-line, in potent and symbolic imagery. Unique free verse, with a splendid flow and commanding use of metaphor.

    Comment by Chris G. | December 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Speechless, word-less about your comment, Chris!!! I must stop here or I would be contradicting what I feel. Thank you so very much!

      Comment by alee9 | December 16, 2010 | Reply

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