Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: birds

I Fed the Birds

The day you disappeared, I fed the birds:
I feared the pigeons would get bored and go.
My fears were realised, in other words.

So I cut up the calendar in thirds.
It’s bright, you’re here. It’s rain, you’re not. It’s snow,
the day you disappeared. I fed the birds

a mixture of unspokens and unheards.
Our cockatiels still bear your accent, though:
my fears were realised in other words.

I deal in unexpecteds and absurds
but never thought you’d break a promise. So
the day you disappeared I fed the birds.

An empty pasture save the ducks, those herds
I shepherd with my trail of crumbs. But no –
my fears were realised in other words.

I hid the end in shakens and in stirreds.
It’s always been like that; the things we know
(the day you disappeared I fed the birds
my fears) were realised in other words.


A collaboration with Richard Kirby (@_L_M_C_). I wrote the first line and he wrote the third line, and then we each wrote a villanelle with that as the skeleton. You can read his poem here: /status/738698600990027776

Bird of Passage

He was a bird of passage, born with human bones and body. Humans are slower than birds, in many ways, and the instincts weren’t quite right in his head. The swallow sees the leaves turn yellow and knows it is time to leave for warmer climates. He felt the same way when the first snow fell. He had to hand in his minimum two weeks’ notice, organise goodbyes, and buy a plane ticket for the day after his last social promises. He would arrive, make himself known and struggle for months; make friends, even. Then the first snow would fall.