the air chirped by sparrows

I’ve breathed the air chirped by sparrows,
critically appraised everything
I didn’t understand,
searched for magica potenta
in urban mysteries, shaded quantum clouds,
on bedroom ceilings, and found echidna quills,
kookaburra beaks, sobriety, all the words
I didn’t want to write.

Three knocks at the door-to-door,
I said I don’t want any, thank you,
not knowing what I didn’t desire.

I sell the hours and the days, walks beneath the rivers,
the pebbles on the shores, the midnight egret that
cannot fly.

Still, I had no interest.
I have to wash my socks, I said,
and match them up—red with
green, and blue with yellow, a sensual shade of apricot
with a crisp green apple.

She was barefoot on one foot,
the other, inside a tiny cloud.
Above her, midday haze, the sun and moon,
I couldn’t quite tell which was which.

I have a number of visits left to make today,
might I ask about the time?

I checked my Rolex oyster imitation.
The second hand, or third perhaps,
was frozen, pointing at the cilia.

It looks like time is out of order.
A little casual panic.

I thought exactly so myself, I’ve been
to all of Enya’s places just this morning,
the Orinoco wasn’t going anywhere.

The washing machine,
its rinse and spin, could wait.
I have no money, only socks
that I could pay in lieu.

For all the socks you’ve lived in, I’ll sing to you my dreaming,
and when I have no more, we’ll reach the ocean
where the Orinoco meets the oysters, and time
will swim again.

Milton Nascimento’s Vendedor de Sonhos/Dream Sellerversion by Simone; Enya and Roma Ryan’s Orinoco FlowCeltic Woman version; Sascha Darlington’s The Oxford Comma.

artwork chirped air

26 thoughts on “the air chirped by sparrows

  1. critically appraised everything
    I didn’t understand

    could be attributed to a lot of people, though the majority would be uncomfortable admitting it to even themselves. a critical, but great line that i can hear a lot of people saying to themselves ‘i do that’ but whether they’ll say ‘i should try & alter this’ is perhaps a line for another poem.
    have you had many poems published? as your work has a fluidity, density of voice & humour that could find a home with a broader audience.

    • Yeah, well, trying to be honest about myself and the truth, ouch. Thanks so much, I’ve had a grand total of one poem published, but I’ve just started subbing a few…

    • you should try, your work is very unique, it has that balance of vacillating between mundane & fantastical which gives the poems a humour & observation not tackled by many.
      i am trying to get more blog traffic & i want to start featuring poets, photographers & artists i find. i hope when i feel ready i could feature you. but i am stuck between do i do it now & risk people thinking this guy have no leverage why should we trust his options; or do i do it an in fact the blog will grow because i am bothering to showcase others rather than just myself. so i am testing the waters, as with my post about my pal Argus Paul, & also with any publications i do get, trying to include others alongside me. so far i am seeing some encouraging results.

    • Thanks Daniel, and I’m happy to participate whenever you decide to go ahead, sounds like it’s on the runway.

      I find social media complicated and I don’t have anywhere near as much time as I’d like for the interaction which is essential. Adding to that, perhaps your own taste is a very good thing–your audience is self-selecting anyway and I think that personal interaction is vital. One or two of my pieces have been reblogged but in kind of a grab bag with a lot of posts. I suspect that’s not the best way to do it.

    • the etiquette of social media can seem complex, but i have discovered that simply engaging people earnestly, if you like their output, makes a huge difference. i don’t have a lot of time, but i just get into a habit of spending an hour or so a day responding & reading stuff. i don’t labour over my comments, i just say wat comes into my head. it is less pretentious that way.
      i am meeting people & keeping a mental list of people i like. but when i do it, i won’t just put the poem up, i’ll say a little about it, speak to the author or creator about what should be said, perhaps do a brief or long q&a. try to establish some context. one thing i discovered is that no one is going to come along & say you are a genius i will publish you with Faber blah blah. that never happens now, you have to work, connect with people, get to know them. from this you never know who might be looking in. & never know what doors might open. & it doesn’t mean you have to sit all day at your computer or in front of your phone. well, i don’t anyway.

    • Makes sense and sounds good. I do occasionally get messages from short story publishers, you know, stuff like “Thanks very much for sending us your story. We printed it out and lined the kitty litter box with it.”

    • they sound like bastards. you should go piss in their letter boxes & when they say “why did you do that?” you can say “well i thought you said you lined the letter box with my story, so i thought if it’s no good, y’know…this.”

    • The paradox….is it a paradox? The writer already spends time in an imaginary world; if the writer spends time on the imaginary world of the internet…creating further imaginary worlds…do they become real? (Your poem makes me aspire to write lovelier poems.)

    • Possibly the equation imagination x imagination = reality is not correct ;). I think it’s more like the wheel of dreams I wrote about somewhere or other, more and more fantasy.

      That being typed, another of my theories is that speculative fiction writers are better than average at distinguishing reality from fantasy/imagination.

      With writing, I say go for it, and the best advice I got was write from the heart and don’t hold back. Now it’s time to feed the penguins :).

  2. It’s late but as I read this kept nodding my head in agreement thinking the words took me into a dreamy, familiar world. Wonderful way to end the night…

    • Great, wish I didn’t have so much still to do today … actually, a lot of people doze off when I’m talking to them. I sometimes think I could cure insomnia :).

    • Well I didn’t write it on the space station, but I did write it through the week in a stray coffee shop I went into because I was early for a meeting. This is a rare event, so I was feeling pretty laid back.

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