“Songbird” — a poem by Michael L. Newell

December 14th, 2018

 

 




SONGBIRD

a blues note broken in the middle

the songbird in the brambles startled
into silence shame for the intrusion

all autumn I have wandered in search
of a music which would still this dull grief
for every person I see wandering alone

every child I see looking at the world
with a question unanswered question
every animal abandoned to wander
through traffic in search of death

every couple I see waving arms in
the cursing dance common among
the intimate at war their lips forming
phrases only they know to use
only they can die from only they can still

all autumn music has drifted from alleyways
when I follow there is no one and no sound
music has wafted from waterfronts when I arrive
there is only the rasp of a ferry’s horn through fog
music chuckles like a brook or stream from playgrounds
all I find are merry-go-rounds and swings in slow motion

and then the sound of a bird in full throat wild as Sonny Terry
whooping it up and blowing his blues harp to save life in praise
of life to be life and the bird stops me dead in my tracks
and I feel grief flowing out through my arms my feet begin to dance
I move faster I begin to run I am sprinting I am the wind
in search of this blessed sound this freedom this wisdom
this hope and I begin to shout and in mid-note the song stops…

what song
what song is this
what song is this so sad
what song is this so sad it cheers
what song is this so sad it cheers and vanishes
who is this person so foolish he sits and waits for hours hoping
who sits and waits and begins to sing feathers growing beak forming
who hides in brambles to pour out lamentations easing a world’s fatigue…

 

*

by Michael L. Newell

 




_____





Michael L. Newell is a retired English/Theatre teacher who has spent one-third of his life abroad.  He now lives on the Oregon coast.  In addition to the recent publication of his new book, Meditation of an Old Man Standing on a Bridge, he has recently had poems published in Verse-Virtual and Current.




Click here  to access all of Michael L. Newell’s poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician




To order a copy of the book, contact BELLOWING ARK PRESS 18040 7th Avenue NE Shoreline, WA 98155






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3 comments on ““Songbird” — a poem by Michael L. Newell”

  1. I really enjoyed this, Mike, the growing urgency, I think. I see similarities of theme with Hardy’s ‘The Darkling Thrush’, but your piece had a shout and a lyricism all its own.

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