Mother Bird in the Wild Branches

Right in the line of my sight outside
my window, Mother Bird is singing—
It's five-feet long from beak to tail
sitting in the eucalyptus-limbs.

Shaped from twenty leaveless branches,
the only moving thing is its sunlit eye
from a leaf whirling in the wind.
Its gigantic head over a foot wide

like a Calder steel-wired sculpture
in a museum, but it's talking to me—
"Give me some feathers so I could fly!"
I hear thee and rejoice O blessed bird!

I recall bird songs from Respighi's
The Birds, Camille Saint-Saens'
"Swan" from Carnival of the Animals,
and Vaughn Williams' Lark Ascending.

Then I read Shelley's "To a Skylark",
Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale",
Attar's Conference of the Birds
to inspire Mother Bird to fly out.

The next day I'm amazed to see
a single "Bird Cloud" over the tree
where Mother Bird had nestled—
O how it soared to the deepest sky

as if gravity sprinkled upward
when Beatrice taught Dante that
his home is not earth but the stars
so he could at last fly skyward.

And it's singing— "Hope is the thing
with feathers perching in the soul—
flying out in space curve by curve,
sweep by sweep onto bluest blue."

Ah! this winged energy of delight
soaring higher still and higher—
Away! away! for I will fly to thee
returning on rays back to the Sun

to pure abundance in white moment
on wings of Poesy, I whirl and dance
beyond human reason and knowledge
to tunes without words filled with wonder.

    — Peter Y. Chou
        Mountain View, 10-10-2009

Bird in eucalyptus tree outside my window

Bird Cloud over the tree the next day