A Murmuration

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic


A Murmuration

 

 

The murmuration of gloss’d starlings sweep in from southern foothills,

 

defy a western wind, watch downward gleefully

 

as turkey vultures hunch over their defeated prey, the king.

 

 

From the north runs a skulk of red fox, fathers, daughters and sons,

 

toward the bloody field.

 

Through dry leaves and sycamore balls and twigs

left by the scattered sparrows.

 

 

Men sought the king in greying winter, followed his kin, sent doe across

 

the cold and rocky ridge.

 

Men never found him, the clever old king,

 

one who had watched his brothers, his sisters catch the bullet,

 

one who saw flashes of light jump away from their eyes toward the low sky.

 

‘Tis not cleverness nor wit nor skill that keeps me alive, the king told the forest,

 

true, a certain wisdom brews with age, and senses stew in a fine mist,

 

but ‘tis only fortune

 

raw fortune

 

that takes one and dispatches the other.

 

If we are mark'd to die, we are enough,” the bard had quoted Henry. And the

 

felled king on the valley field breathed in the words

 

as his tired hooves bent into frosted forage.

 

 

The ravens wait atop the pines.  The red-tailed hawk rides biting thermals

 

to clouds

 

only to dive in circles

 

toward the widening stain below. 

 

Lines of attack form from those

 

bred only to fight.  The beaks, the claws, the keen-sighted battalions

 

prepare.

 

 

The fox knew the king when he ran in youth with them along the wooded floor.

 

The starlings and ravens watched the king as he grew

 

into an image, an issue, of his own.

 

 

In January, the light stretches across a red ridge toward the monastery.

 

In January, red birds and black birds and fox and pasture grass

 

touch the teasing air.

 

In January, brothers die and sisters fall in cold embrace.

 

 

Winter sits still among the dying.

 

Spring will bury the blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: August 15, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Marjorie Gowdy. All rights reserved.

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Criss Sole

Great imagery and metaphors.

Wed, August 19th, 2020 3:30pm

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