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Dark Birds
Julie L. Moore

The season has taken a stab
At despondency. Note the nickel-plated sky,
Its stony countenance. And the sallow grass,
How stunted its stature has become.
And all these dark birds: Starlings swarming,
Swirling like a tornado that keeps touching
Down. Crows crowding the fields,
Feeding on nothing but crumbs
Of cornstalks. The mourning dove, balancing
Its solo act on a telephone wire, crooning
Its Irish tune of lonesomeness and longing.
Looks like despair to me.
Except for those red-winged blackbirds
Flaunting their epaulets atop cattails.
Do you see them rise, then ride the back
Of the wind, scattering their clicks and clucks
Like seeds along the way?
They, too, witnessed the first dropped
Leaf, perceived how green withdrew
Its lovely face from the landscape.
So how do they do it, lifting their own
Hearts as they soar toward the clouds?
Donít they ever, like the rest of us,
Tire of transcending?
This poem first appeared in Cider Press Review (Spring 2009).
Used here with the authorís permission.

Julie L. Moore believes that writing poetry can be like a game, for it can manipulate language, satirize our clever, yet shallow, society, and even crack jokes. But thatís not why she jots notes in her moleskin while washing dishes, playing summer tourist, or trying to endure prolonged and painful illnesses. For her, itís about saving a life: her own and--she hopes, if she's any good at it--someone elseís. Author of Slipping Out of Bloom (WordTech Editions) and Election Day (Finishing Line Press), Julieís award-winning work has been published in numerous journals. Julie lives in Cedarville, Ohio; read more about her at

Post New Comment:
winter dusk ‚ÄĘ the raven settles ‚ÄĘ in its shadow
Posted 11/19/2012 02:55 AM
I really enjoyed this poem; great finish ....... Judy
Posted 11/01/2012 10:21 AM
OH such lovely lines!...espesially how Julie captures the sounds and the lift of the redwinged black birds riding the wind. YES..L.Tanner
Posted 10/29/2012 05:44 PM
Posted 10/29/2012 01:44 PM
Tony R:
Julie captures in "Dark Birds" the recurring, interior, autumnal landscape of the mind and its relationship to the external landscape of the world nearby. The mind cannot help but resonate the latter stage set designed by nature and in just a few short lines Julie graphically delineates that magical interaction. Though her poem sketches the visible deterioration of Nature in autumn, it applies with equal force to the intrusion of harsh reality on our porous minds, which cannot help be touched deeply by it. But Julie does not stop there - she takes us to the next level - a level we've all reached at one time or another in our lives - the exhaustion of picking up and going forward yet again. Well done, Julie! Tony R.
Posted 10/29/2012 11:53 AM
Just one word. WOW!
Posted 10/29/2012 11:34 AM
Wonderful poem to life our hearts today, Julie!
Posted 10/29/2012 11:07 AM
Ginny C.:
terrific poem--love the ending
Posted 10/29/2012 10:21 AM
Julie, You did it again. Such a beautiful poem. I cannot add anything more meaningful than Peninsulapoet has already said.
Posted 10/29/2012 10:03 AM
A beautiful, original poem. I also like what you say, Julie, about the purpose of your poetry.
Posted 10/29/2012 09:30 AM
Wilda Morris:
A beautiful poem with some nice surprises. My favorite part, too, is about the red-winged blackbirds - one of my very favorite feathered creatures.
Posted 10/29/2012 08:48 AM
I love the way this part Do you see them rise, then ride the back Of the wind, scattering their clicks and clucks Like seeds along the way? makes me FEEL the motion of these birds. Lovely!
Posted 10/29/2012 06:21 AM

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