Birds Hear Us


Certain droppings, fallen as liquid gold

from the flights of golden eagles

or, say, from owls of doubtful wisdom,

fell on the early mountains and ran down

to the green plain between two rivers,

vanishing one drop into the other, combining

mecurial yet purest gold.

What kind of living things are these? cried all the animals.

They in their garden of intense desires

nuzzled careening droplets over Eden,

with innocent appetites licked them into awkward shapes

crying Lord, what are these?

Now there were only two.

Name them! the Voice called golden from the garden.

Once named, the blobs took form, rose, named in their turn

the astounded animals,

ruled, loved, ate, knew exile,

survived their own deaths through their children

and turned their anguish into named and separate songs.

Our ancestors, claim certain half-convincing books.

Up high, who knows, perhaps uneasy eagles catch those songs

and stoop more justly at the undefended lamb--perhaps--

or stupid owls at midnight listen, and grow wise.



Anthony Cam, 1970

(aka Isabella Fey)