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Instinct Before Breakfast
Katrin Talbot

                                                                 Even before the
                                                        second cup of
                                                 I had to go out
                                                         to where the woodpeckers
                                                             were louder than
                                                                the sirens
                                                  on a morning blazing,
                                                         at last,
                                                            with a convincing
                                                          assurance of season’s
                                                  Winter still holding back the bud
                                                                the blade
                                                           while the warmth of the sunshine
                                                               beginning to assert that
                                                                  exquisite delineation
                                                                        between gray and green
                                                        Standing on the edge,
                                                      cliff, season, fork in the road
                                                          evokes a sense of balance
                                                                far beyond the inner ear magic
                                                                    we take for granted
                                                        This morning it was,
                                                                the pulse of life
                                                                     the dancing with
                                                                        the pounding of mortality
                                                         As the prairie,
                                                              the trees,
                                                                        swelled with their irrepressible
                                                        canticles of death lay
                                                                all over the paths . . .
                                                           somber clusters of furry remains,
                                                                        pellet after pellet
                                                               of owl’s plat du nuit
                                                        as the woodpecker’s tenacity,
                                                                        as always,
                                                               wins the argument
© by Katrin Talbot.
Used with the author’s permission.


Photo credit: Isabel Karp


Australian-born Katrin Talbot is a violist, photographer, and poet. Her award-winning work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies and she is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Falling Asleep at the Circus, and The Devil Orders a  Latte, forthcoming from Fernwood Press. Katrin leaves in the Madison, Wisconsin area, with quite a few chickens. Learn more about her at




Post New Comment:
Hurrah for "irrepressible responsibility"!
Posted 03/21/2012 01:18 PM
jeanc love your busting out, love your "inner ear magic"
Posted 03/21/2012 12:21 PM
I will be forever grateful for your lines: Standing on the edge...evokes a sense of balance.
Posted 03/21/2012 11:28 AM
beautiful line...'winter still holding back the bud the blade. judithc
Posted 03/21/2012 11:22 AM
Wilda Morris:
Perfect for this very warm morning when I found a dandelion in bloom, and a little bit of my asparagus already ready to cut!
Posted 03/21/2012 09:50 AM
just the poem for a spring morning...beautiful!
Posted 03/21/2012 08:08 AM
I love the swirl of this poem! Thank you.
Posted 03/21/2012 05:42 AM

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