Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Brightbird

The Brightbird

When did my blackbird
become so bright?
When I went to sleep
he was black as night.

I dreamed that we flew
for forever and far
to a place where the Wee Folk
dance wild on a star,

where one ticking minute
gets lost in the years,
gets painted with moon dots
and turns into tears

that open like poppies
of scarlet and jade.
They dripped on my blackbird
in twenty new shades

of violet and indigo
slick as shellac,
till only his eyes
and his feet were still black

and each feather glowed
and each feather glistened;
he winked his black eye
and the sunrise listened.

When did my brightbird
become so tall?
Yet when I woke up,
he was nowhere at all.

~April 2014

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Challenge:A Child's Verse
Margaret Bednar(ArtHappens365) gives us one of the most simple-appearing and actually quite difficult challenges ever, to write a child's poem, and provides us with some children's artwork to help us along, drawn from a showing of elementary school children's art at her local arts center. I have photo-manipulated this beautiful bird just the slightest bit to bring out his magic.


  1. Oh my.. what an amazing poem, Hedge. You have not compromised your style but the task to write for a child has brought out your startling imagery in a whole new way. This may seems like a simple narrative, but I think it contains multiple levels of meaning, and opens the door for the imagination and possible interpretations. This is the magic of poetry at its very best.

    1. PS I found your link on the sidebar - it's not in Mr Linky yet.

    2. Yes, this poem a day thing has me a day behind, and automatically publishing everything at midnight--I link in when I wake up! ;_) Thanks Kerry--this was a hard one for me.

  2. I agree with Kerry. While writing children's verse may not be your usual forte, you have shown here that you can write it with the best of them! I love that you chose this drawing to write to.

  3. ha. the use of the rhymes...the very happy colors...
    i think children would delight to read this...esp with the myth like wordings
    of the weefolk and the magic of color...

  4. Hey Joy, this is beautiful and so fun to see your voice translated to a great simplicity. I would note that there is a hippie feel to this! In the way of certain wonderful song lyrics! (Sorry-- this is my joke! I hope you don't mind.) But the dreamlike transformations (fueled by poppies) and the musicality are part of what makes it work so well. I especially like that here it is the blackbird/brihhtbird's wink that brings the sunrise as his closed eye shuts out the black. I am on one of my infernal devices which are not working very well this morning-- but will persevere to say we are on lucky 13. So far so good. This very cool. I cheated I'm afraid and used my own drawing but perhaps should have pushed harder. Oh well. Onward. K.

    1. Thanks, k. I think he is sort of a hippie bird. ;_) I don't think using your own drawing, in your case, is cheating at all, with your expertise in this area. Looking forward to seeing how the pros do it at your place. ;_)

  5. Wonderful voicing, phrasing, and child-wise vocabulary choices. Though you write it was a great challenge, it comes across easy as a breeze. A delightful tale of transformation, I think.

  6. Ah, so magic poem! I'm enchanted...

  7. well I *tried* to comment but it told me I don't own that identity. Hmm.

    anyways, as I was saying, sweet, tender, and rather cheery for you :) ~

  8. Love your use of rhyme here, Joy Ann. Very nicely done. I have been rather vacant on the poetry circuit. I am trying to come out of my shell. Though, it is so damn hard at times.


  9. Beautiful work - whimsy with something deeper and stronger. Tied to the seasons, but loosed as well. -Dianne

  10. A magical journey of a dream! I KNEW you would come up with something spectacular!


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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