Friday, May 8, 2020

The Bird Alchemist

The Bird Alchemist

The Bird Alchemist 
was small and hero blue,
a most consummate
mountaineer of treetops,
aficionado of the woven twig,
knight-errant of the whipping wind,
fetching his lady favors
of jumping bug and thistledown
in the aquarelle skyscape
of implacable spring.

The Bird Alchemist
was more than his mask,
a Renaissance Bird of arts
and sciences, bearing the commerce
of reproduction for the rippling
sake of his mate's feathered belly
while nocturnal vigils teased him
with the secrets of all things; aloof
in his cypress lab, rocking spellbound
before creation's daft flicker, til

victorious he rose each dawn,
worms transmuted into song.

May 2020

posted for 
Kerry O'Connor's

and for earthweal's
(exploring Monday's theme 
of  the hero quest)
even tho earthweal is one of several word press sites that think I am spam

Note: Aquarelle is a style of painting using thin, typically transparent watercolors, traditionally created by applying each color thru a separate stencil, now more loosely used for the style in general.

Images : Creation of the Birds, © Remedios Varo      Fair Use
Aquarelle Landscape With Bird, © Anna Svennson on Instagram  Fair Use


  1. Ah, this is just sublime, Joy. I love the first stanza's exposition of the heroic figure, so beautifully described, and the fact that the whole poem is two long sentences.
    Oh for the cypress lab and the worm transmuted into song!

  2. This is a sonnet, yes? I am nobody's expert, but am thinking that it is. I want to say, it is very cute!, but I have never dared to say anything of yours is "cute" and mightn't survive intact if you go for your axe, so I will simply say that this poem delighted me and left me smiling at this remarkable scientific expert of a feathered fellow. Absolutely delightful, dear BFF!

    1. It is sonnet-ish in form, now that you mention it, but has too many lines--14 is max.Also it's kind of supposed to rhyme or at least have ten syllables a line, none of which I seem to have done. I don't care tho, since you are delighted anyway. ;) Thank you, Shay.

  3. the secrets of all things do seem to emerge from the dark, in those nighty vigils. a charming view into this brainy bird's bower ~

  4. The masterful wordsmithing in this poem has me suitably awed. Just wonderful, Joy. I especially delighted in the closing couplet.

  5. I love the introduction of the Bird Alchemist in the first stanza as hero blue, an ‘aficionado of the woven twig, knight-errant of the whipping wind’, He’s a gentleman, to fetch his lady favours, and scholar. A sonnet is the best form for this portrait of a hero, and the final line is inspired!

  6. Yes, there is obvious delight -- relish -- in this, and you take the hero trope for a happy lope in birdland. The quest of the alchemist works on the imagination the way a Gawain jousts -- with heat and mindful heart. There is a birdlike trim to this, matter-of-fact in its celestial routines, accomplishing with digestion what takes a hero on a road of trials. Amen and hallelloo. Some frisky wordplay that made me think of Stevens with a hit of helium in its cookery. Thanks for bringing this delightful glove to earthweal - Brendan

  7. What a superb poem, full of delights. I do love the end:

    " victorious he rose each dawn,
    worms transmuted into song"

  8. I see the bird of wisdom and mystery, it's masked owl face, a thinker a doer. An alchemist transforming things for the better. A bird of mystery who sees from every angle in life.

    I noticed the sonnet form and you worked it wonderfully as it was sublime to the message.

    Truly enjoyable


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