Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Bluejay's Wing


Bluejay's Wing
The first time I saw the sea, its reaching miles
of life and emptiness that twinned,
I was a barefoot child who thought
herself a woman, made of light
and incapable of sin.
The sea is high again today
with a thrilling flush of wind.
By day I scan the amber sky and feel
its cheapjack promise scratched upon my skin.
By night I scout the evercoming storm
with my bareback diamond eye
and heart of tin.
The sea is loud again today
with a spoken word of wind.
I see now how a palette rich with sun
bleaches out as monotone, greyscaled and thin,
its broken colors robbed of breathing light
as bluejays pale away on cloudy days,
their feathers keeping all the blue within.
The sea runs high again today
with a humming requiem of wind.

I'll never see again the dazzled tide; 
my age is given to the prairie wind
but I won't believe I'll never see the sun,
or the mottled azure delicately brushed in
to point and praise a bluejay's cunning wing.
The sea is high again today
with a thrilling flush of wind.
March 2022


 posted for dVerse Poets Poetics:

Note: My opening sentence appears in the last two lines of the first and final stanzas, and is from Justine, by Lawrence Durrell, the first book in his Alexandria Quartet, which I count among my top ten early influences in writing. And some may sense here another early influence, Emily Dickinson.
Images: Untitled, ©Zdzislaw Beksinski 
Wing of a Blue Roller, 1512, © Albrecht Durer


  1. I love this so much. The rhythm and cadence of your words are like the ocean's tide- beautiful!

  2. What an amazing write... undulating rhythmically like the sea with untold mysteries in its bosom.

  3. I agree with Linda, the cadence and rhythm here are suggestive of rolling water or scudding clouds. I find it very interesting what you say here about the blue jay wings "keeping all the blue within" because in certain light that's exactly what they do, especially if you find a single feather and turn it this way and that. I am touched by the innocence of the child because we all begin this way and are worn down over time like stones in a stream. And yet, that child survives in the best of us.

  4. I really love this the rhythm and cadence, but also the way you have used the given lines all throughout the poem with small variations. To me it reflected the symbiosis between human and sea and I remember how a large part of the body is water.

  5. A masterclass. I personally take so much from this...will I be able to use what I learnt.....way beyond my reach...but the pleasure comes in knowing that.

  6. This is lovely! I have always found the refractive characteristic of the bluejay feathers a fascinating optical illusion. A bit of natural magic. You captured that bit of magic here.

  7. This is so gorgeous and so beautifully written. The repetition and the rhythm--as others have mentioned--and also the lovely imagery make this a poem to read several times.

  8. How do we frame influence against what we've done with it? The question is as daunting as a distant ocean and the prairie wind. The answer is the bluejay's wing up in "a humming requiem of wind," blue as the eye which raptures it. Kin, that's what we are to the inspired dead.

    1. Thank you, B. That's very generous indeed. Affinity is a powerful force, yet it's amazing how hard it is to pin down. We just feel it, and in my case certainly, are infinitely glad to be enriched by what is there.

  9. superb.

    but do see the sea again; today it is indeed high and flush with wind ~


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

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