Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wounded Bird

A swallow can fly miles, from treetop to ocean cliff
The wind's undertow buoyantly gliding her
To a resting place of warm possibility.

She is free, lifted higher by duty and family
Not a thought outside of weather and wind,
Acceptance and choice safely within her span.

But then, jolted in flight,
her heart pumped deep
And she is transformed,

The unknown and unfamiliar
In that very moment,
A broken wing reclaiming

Something lost and ancient
Spiraling deep and desperate
Into the habitat of hidden.

Some species heal their wings
In solitude, licking and lying
In a nest of thin twigs

Healing from within
Until they can fly again,
To and from home.

But other species do not heal
And they tuck that wing
Underneath themselves,

Landlocked and less,
The natural order
Injured inside and out.

That species will push on
Practicing, praying, pretending
That wings are but a crutch

Meanwhile hoping that reverse gravity
May rocket them up and open them wide,
Heedfully whole to fly again.

Have a good weekend, everyone.


  1. A very uplifting cautionary tale.

    I want to stop blaming my wings and fly as high as I can. Atleast high enough to let the currents carry me most of the way. It would be fabulous to be able to soar and enjoy the view.
    It's all about the journey,
    not the destination.

  2. Poor Ces. Hhehhehhheeee.


  3. Okay, it isn't about Ces, but the title made me think of her wounded in isolation at the moment. Her insides seem perfectley fine to me! I wasn't "uplifted" by this poem but will 'Swallow' :)

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  5. he! welcome back and fly high!

    anon,this is not about ces! i almost emailed you for info on birds who migrate long distances.

    ces, speak the common english? don't wax poetic? i made your headache worse? so much for this poem! maybe i should stick to one line rhymes and forget metaphors...

  6. Lovely metaphor, KJ. And I never thought it was about Ces, even though about 95% of your blog usually is!

  7. ms. andrea: thank you for your kind comment about my poem. as for the content of my blog!!--i just checked my last six posts and not a word about my pal ces. 95%? maybe it just seems that way...

  8. Hmph!!! I thought it was 99.9%! Well, you are in my blog 100% of the time Missy! You never look.

  9. ces, hmph? i just checked your last 6 posts and i don't find a mention of me. on the other hand, if you or i want to gleefully post about eachother, let's do just that!

    btw, you may not know that i am your biggest fan because i probably wax poetic about your talent instead of speaking common conversational english...

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  11. Hhehhehhheeee oops .... *flutter flutter away*

  12. ces, oh, i wasn't counting sidebars. ok,99.999% all the time.

    anon, flutter, flutter, but what's the 'ops' for?

  13. I see this as a metaphor about the harsh reality of life and the toll it takes on us. Sometimes we recover, other times, not. We can survive, but may never be what we once were. Not uplifting, but true. Perhaps with our disability we will discover or develop a new ability, different but still wonderful.

  14. Hauntingly beautiful. And red mojo caught my thoughts in a butterfly net...

  15. rm, it is gratifying how much you understand of this poem and how beautifully you express it. a giant thank you from me to you.

    singleton, ditto.

  16. This is beautiful, KJ! I can't wait to hear you read more like it in a couple of weeks ... I could see and feel this one particularly!

  17. pieterbie and melissa, thank you so much. when my confidence sinks abit, i float right up again from your enthusiasm!

  18. Joining Red Mojos camp...and still flying with both my wings broken...just to spite them!

  19. lavender, what a beautiful image: flying with both wings broken. love from one survivor to another...

    sidney, thank you. that means alot coming from you.

  20. Ah, so achingly true. A wonderful similie of all life.

  21. I have reread this poem several times and have been reluctant to comment because it is so honest and true. Staying with the bird theme, there are several bird species that are more admirable than humans. The males in the penguins and emus are more dedicated parents than some men and the nursing geese is a a great example of altruism. I think we look at animals (I love the elephants) to symbolize our own struggles and sufferings. Humans are imperfect and life is a series of tests and failures punctuated by short happy events. Conscience is not a gift after all. Despite human achievements and talents some of us end up with worse fates than animals. I would like to know about animal species, including humans where suicide is acceptable than a tortured existence.

  22. I don't think animals commit suicide because they are very much in the now, not bogged down in the past or worried about the future.

    The sun is bright on my old bones and the ground is warm, why cry for my lost youth? (whispered to me by Bitty, one of my old dogs).

    And, if now is all there is, why would you want to end it, it will be gone soon enough on its own.

    Dottie, another dog, has taught me much about infirmities. She's lost an eye and had to have her knee fixed and a few other miscellaneous things. And she still carries herself as proudly as any young pup, because the essence of who she is is untarnished.

    Our broken wings need not tarnish us either, they are merely another facet of who we are.

  23. shrink, my heart opens to broken wings, my own and others, which actually makes me "softer at the broken places", as hemingway said.

    my best friend ces, i admire animals as you do. as for conscience, i think it is a gift as long as i don't let the opinion and judgements of others define or deminish what i know to be right and true for me. like debra kay, i don't think animals commit suicide either, but i also do not think suicide is always a bad choice. when i am old or unable to freely live and love, i hope i have the means and ability to leave on my own terms. that said, despite my own wounds, i am grateful for all the gifts i am blessed with, including and especially you.

    debra kay, yay! for dottie. i smiled just reading about her. as for broken wings, yes, they are part of who we are and part of life.

  24. Our gourami attempted suicide several times. We had him since he was an itty bitty fish as small as my son's finger. We had him for a year and a half and he turned out to be a big gourami about ten inches long that he (maybe it was a she) was the only one we could keep in the 75 gallon tank. It kept on jumping from the tank many times. I had to consult a fish specialist on it's strange behavior. My husband put a heavy mallet on top of the lid. One day we came home and found it flapping on the floor. It had obviously been out of the tank for many hours. I did a mouth to fish rescucitation and it lived for several more months. Okay, I am just joking about the resiscitation procedure but I could not bring myself to buy a 100-gallon tank for a fish that people buy for ten pesos to fry. I don't know why I am sharing this because fish don't have wings. I don't know why I mentioned suicide but I know that some animals give up their lives for others in their famiy or herd.

  25. ces, i believe i would give up my life for the people i cherish but i wouldn't consider that suicide.

    re your fish story: can't wait to see the illustration on that one. did you drive that fish to desparate measures because the housing situation was sub-standard??


  26. So what do you call the Japanese Kamikazi pilots? They knew it was a suicide mission for their emperor.

  27. point well taken, ces. sometimes you are too smart for me!

  28. A spider ate itself in my kitchen yesterday. I met my husband because of suicidal fish :)

  29. oh jeez...

    and was it suicide that the spider ate itself or was it just stupid and hungry?


  30. The female mosquito dies after it bites, or is it after sex?

  31. I wonder if the mosquito chooses to do that?