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The Birdcatcher

ISSUE:  Summer 2010

In the parliament of birds, laws pass on song votes.
The wood thrush would be recognized. He claims the heavens
Are silver flutes playing a Mozart concerto in the rain.

Mozart hated writing for the flute! So his revenge
Was to give it melodies of such deep, flutely sweetness
It could never pretend to be any other instrument.

We long most to be ourselves. Yet Mozart was ever-changing,
Like old King Proteus of the sea, a chameleon of forms,
Who alone could tell Odysseus the way home ran through the dead.

I could curl up and sleep in the lost feather of a blue jay.
The sky’s there, and the border of the night, and the white foam
Cast by a thousand ships racing home to a distant shore.

A mockingbird lights on the roof of a green pick-up truck.
He sings of the world of ten thousand things and of the one Being.
Cocky and delighted, he tells us not to dress in our graveclothes today.

Mozart built the temple of love within the temple of ordeal
In The Magic Flute. The birdcatcher Papageno sings so sweetly
Of desire, we almost fail to notice his sly Buddha smile.


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