The Blackbird Is The Author of my Day


blackbird blacker & colouredFINAL

The blackbird sings 
                                 my day into existence 
At one moment operatic, 
                       then comic, then conversational, 
Sounds he may have overheard and 
            recorded in the feathered scrapbook of 
                         his blue-black head, 
Lilting, punctuated by trills and hymn-like 
                                           crystal sharp chords. 
He is its author, director and 
                   conductor of the orchestra of dawn. 
I don’t write these poems; 
                             it is the rain that types at a 
Hundred and twenty words a minute, 
                  with furious fingers upon my bedroom 
on sleepless nights. 
                        It is the brown heat of summer, 
The black trees seen against a sky 
                    in the yellow apple-sweet morning. 
The green wind that ripples the seas 
                                            of wheat and barley, 
Vast corn-silk oceans that stretch 
                    all the way back to my childhood. 
It is your perfect thighs that I can’t 
             gaze upon them for fear of going blind, 
It is the moon where the 
                stolen voices of owls were hidden by 
Some goddess in 
                           the springtime of the world. 
It is the wind chimes in the garden 
              it is the secret names of cats, 
                       it is the boundless joy of dogs; 
                                            it is the starving child 
And the blind woman and the poor 
              and the voiceless that write 
                                  these bastard songs: 
                                              these orphan lyrics. 
The blackbird sings my day into being. 
A day so strange and full of 
                 love and sadness and 
                          frustrated desires that worry the 
         tender flesh beneath my clothes, 
                         that dry like sweat on my body. 
Because, what does a blackbird know 
                                of the terrible needs of man? 

     Bill Lewis
Picture Nick Victor


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