NIGHTBIRD ON A WINTER BRANCH
Nightbird on a winter branch.
Dark blossom of the new moon,
Last kiss on the eyelids of the dead
As the snow falls like apple bloom.
I see you’ve left the door ajar:
The backdoor of an eclipse
To let the first crescent of the light out.
The sacred syllable of the mistfits
Lost in the silence and the solitude
You raise like heretical mystics into songs
That only you alone can sing
So that each in their homelessness belongs
To the false dawn of the same secret
They weep over like empty lockets
That stole the moon from their windows
As they burned at the stake, rockets
Martyred in the fire of the holy books
That inspire them deeper into exile
This late at night far from anywhere
Distance is measured by the mile
And not the wingspan of the light-years
It’s taken me to write this.
Like a bird that flew out of the darkness,
That left no trace of the witness
As it blew a kiss of sudden insight.
A word in passing from the dead
About who’s behind the death mask
Of the snow that’s covering my head
Like the polar ice cap of a planet
With the prophetic wisdom of a skull.
Life in the birthmark of the new.
Death in the harvest of the moon at full.
Emptiness devoid of all light.
The first sign of renewal in the urn
Of a nightbird on a winter branch.
Diamonds of ice and insight that burn
Like coal in the eyes of a snow man
With the passion of a phoenix born
A star in the cold furnace of the sky.
Where every passage is a rite of return
That hides its brightest jewels
blossoming like enlightenment on the wing
In the dark ore of a nightbird
When a deathmask opens its mouth to sing.