By Jonathan Andrew Pérez
WINTER – A Snow Deluge in the Vistas: Bobwhite
Above the Buttes a purple strata of dawn
recedes like ice glaciers, over shadows
of fire. From the mission, birds moan,
bleating during blue maternal hours
Eastern Bobwhite, few white, wow swite,
at impossible snow distances, beckoned.
A falconry of seasons draws from wells
of earth in the parched knowledge of fire.
The sanguine gods, in hysterics, fall
onto scorched earth, swathe an afternoon plane;
a fist scorns the benevolent skies, swollen.
Our eyes meet rainbows through mists of dust—
the passionate betrayal of youth,
and closeness deluded at Earth’s crest.
Alone we lie side-by-side in the cold night,
noticing heaven’s dark dome, rusted.
A mythology of snow will blanket
Huddled, jurists, cooing, and lulling,
the earth, lulling the mutinous deserts
and silence to fall among silences,
until isolations no more are disparate,
under the great air-borne parapet.
Down the canyon a faint struggle appears…
Embers of sun losing to a pelting world,
like a tower, unstable, bent with years,
sympathetic, at last, wholly to smoke—
a compromise of invisible lenience
the bobwhite have conferred in unmistakable seances.
SPRING – A Portrait of Little: White Throated Sparrow
A White Throated sparrow
That lopped creases of snow
Opens up infinitesimal
Nooks and alleys,
There, East Boston
Blanketed, no smothered,
And the planned drips
Of life from crystal coffins,
Raked the pine needles, clawed
Down eaves, and symphonies,
Across reservoirs of white,
It is a phrase of beauty
Softened by a large stride,
Lumped along a pillow axis.
The awoken largeness
As it shakes the limbs
Of the corner, slides
Weightless off lamps,
These snapshots, the
Italian Deli, the 24-
The leaping planes
Across the unsaid night,
It feels so familiar
And in its familiarity
Is assumed a like
There, the rain
Rains and wets the brown
Pock-marks, it collects.
The scene is tricked and the clouds think
It has taken place for the White Throat,
a streaked female who eked out
The wooded hall with a grimy dance,
Who watches Nature
As if below creases were Pandas, Africa,
And exotic cloud-soaked forests.
The frozen deluge has passed
from the terrace above as if
graced by her presence.
FALL – What if the Sky Falls: European Starlings
In the blocks between Starbucks and the Moma,
thirty European starlings congregated
on the plush limbs of a Ginko tree.
The iridescent sheen off of their oily
bodies was subtle, but worthy of a glance.
People hustled over to tables to drape
their loose garments, hats, denim jackets,
and faux-John Varvatos leather bags
on the dirty tables. Iced Caramel Machiattos
sped off the unsure barista’s voice
like hot cakes. The tree relatively unmoving
shimmered with the birds. First, one
then another, then fifteen fell dead
in the air onto the hard concrete.
“Oh my God, starlings are dropping out
of that tree,” a confidante of the Upper East Side
pearl cult, hoarsely, brought to everyone’s attention.
No one made a move. By now the flock
was entirely supine in disparate clumps,
jittering, convulsing, or alive and not laying to rest.
“No, no, they are supposed to do that,”
the middle-aged birdwatcher pleaded.
It is dark days, indeed. The fluctuations
of the bird populations never really seemed
to have bothered anyone before.
A male red-tailed hawk rested
in a haphazard nest right atop Woody Allen’s
window. Once in a while a prize warbler
would arrive from the South coast of Florida,
or Tamarindo, Costa Rica like Snoop Dog
and his hordes of groupies
on late night slots of cable television.
And a few who treaded the line between
hardcore east coast ornithologist and simple amateur
scientist walked the long stairs from their cozy
apartments to the wilds of Central Park,
the last open physical space of the city.
But oil birds, plummeting out of the sky
alive playing, is quite another unpretty thing.
SUMMER – Burning: Summer Tanager
Warmth is a dear friend, a Summer Tanager never changes.
The day after next: I will come back late
after an excursion into the lakes region.
The headache has lasted, the sensation
like shards of slicing sunlight against
my forehead. And the Summer Tanagers, their silhouettes
having filled the watery hole, have changed
direction with fire, flame, fuel. Even the dragonflies with soft abdomens
have piloted their way to the outer portions
lush with the fold of oxidized shore grass.
From the slope before me: summer has reached
its peak, browning the brush-like pine trees,
throwing long looks down the mountain.
Somewhere billions of flies are lost
that heave miniature bodies on yards of gates
along the salt-licked sandbar, the heat
quiets their call.
Patience, too, is at its peak:
in the slow stretched minutes, before the evening
has blanketed it to a simmering still,
with no symphony to fill the silence.
The galaxies exist. I recognize the exact altitude
of stars, the orbits that quell the riotous explosions
that spell the cosmos; tomorrow the lakes region
beckons back me off to its setting silence and large
dormancy awaiting the Summer Tanagers.
[Read Full Issue]