Sunday, March 15, 2009


Saturday was the opening of the 4th semi-annual Word-Art show at the Gallery on the Green in Canton, CT. For the second time, I had the honor of working with my dear friend, Carla, in response to her painting, "On Ancient Wings." I only hope that my poem,"Wounded Bird," does rightful justice to Carla's mystical and magical talent.

The show runs through April 12, with an evening of readings on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30.
Wounded Bird
Part 1
A swallow can fly miles, From treetop to ocean cliff,
The wind's undertow buoyantly gliding her
To a resting place warm with 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.

Part 2 (My Side)
I fly from necessity
Hovering over leafy trees and endless water,
Following an inestimable path from home
Only to return again,
Where I’ll find my roots and rhythm
Deeply tucked in grainy sand.

I do not question why I do this--
This destiny of family and fate--
What I cannot fathom I will not change.

My twelve feather tail and meager wing span
Weigh in below two ounces,
Not enough for my survival

And yet I maneuver and endure,
I doggedly sing my song
And tuck my broken wing

Under my expanding and rapid chest
Until I know if
I might fly again.

If I should die here
Unable to lift myself beyond this place
I will fly anyway

Straight to this indomitable future
Where I will be an African River Martin
tending and fending

Reaching still and always,
Weightless in my belief
That I was born for just this moment.

Damn! I know there is a two line stanza that should be three. Blogger simply refused to let me correct it. So I bent, which is probably something I should do more often anyway... :)


  1. what a turly gorgeous painting, looks like carla from annonyrie? is it? and the poem does it complete justice too.

  2. Yes it does do justice - lovely poem and painting. I like the theme of relislience - it resonates iwth me right now.

    And Blogger is a fickle beast - it does what it wants to. (Ha! Word verification for this comment is "hater"!!)

  3. soulbrush, yup, it's carla and her truly gorgeous painting! what fun to do this show with her!

    cs, thank you. and your referring to 'resilience' just told me what the poem is truly about!


  4. a wonderful marriage of writing and painting! Hope yer having fun :)

  5. The opening was very festive & crowded. I saw many people stop to read your beautiful words displayed next to the painting. We missed you (but knew, of course, that you had Mr. Ryan duty:>)... I hope that the Universe will cooperate and make it possible for you to be there for the readings. And if not... we'll come on up to visit you! xox

  6. val, gotta love wonderful marriages of any kind! (now you've got me thinking of you and me creating a village--you paint the buildings and i'll describe the inhabitants-ooooh!)

    carla, there was no chance. mr ryan was on the go every minute. but unless baby no-name arrives that weekend, i'll be there to see you and to read aloud. i hope you enjoyed seeing people marvel at your painting. xo

  7. Brava, brava, KJ. What a beautiful poem and painting. They are both very moving. I wish I could attend the reading.

  8. bella, thank you. the best part is seeing carla's happy face. it is because of her that i get to read my poem outloud in a sweet gallery.

  9. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me with such a nice comment.

    But more than that I want to thank you for stopping by because it led me here. Just where I needed to be. This is beautiful.



  10. They go beautiful together!
    The painting is magical and gorgeous!

  11. Tsup*!* Now who's flying fly fly little bird*!*

  12. this is the 3rd time i'm readint this great poem... the two parts... stunning...

    'Practicing, praying, pretending
    That wings are but a crutch;'

    'And yet I maneuver and endure,
    I doggedly sing my song
    And tuck my broken wing'

    how intently you watch and understnsd human soul


  13. Just having a little re-read.

    Talented Ms. kj.