March 23, 2008

An Ars Poetica

The Hooded Warbler

I can't fix on
the song diffracted by leaves,

the nervous, the ambitious,
green leaves of the forest, only interested

in the entirety
of space.
              The song in flight

washes the compass
while the song
                      at rest
                    on a branch

builds a top hat
into which

one might throw a little money
if one could.
                I see the source

in my mind, but that's not enough‑‑
for color's my god,

and the color of song is always a bird
at rest or in flight.

The leaves of nesting time
work me too hard,

but how can one be disappointed
when mystery wins, the bird unseen,
and spirit fills

so much brilliant space
—all that frustration—to consider.

—Tim Houghton

Posted by dwaber at 02:16 AM