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Blue Jay at Dawn
Ken Hada


Even in gray sky before sunrise,
I see your blue-shaded wings,
your black, bold beak, your proud
head, turned to the sky – bare
branches surrounding you.
You are the first this morning –
first and foremost – like all things
beautiful, you command
presence as you move through
space, as your body joins
the imagination of those who watch,
who, unlike you, will never know
your agility, your scandalous
ability to always be new.

From Come Before Winter (Turning Plow Press, 2023).
Used here with permission.


Ken Hada is a professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, and hosts a weekly podcast, "The Sunday Poems." Author of ten books, the latest being Come Before Winter, his 2021 book, Contour Feathers, received the Oklahoma book Award. Ken's work has also received awards from Western Writers of America and the National Western Heritage Museum. Raised in the rural Ozarks, he enjoys hiking, flyfishing, and kayaking. Learn more about Ken at




Post New Comment:
"your scandalous ability to always be new." - this line is terrific, Ken!
Posted 12/03/2023 02:41 AM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful and unusual portrayal of the blue jay.
Posted 12/01/2023 06:25 PM
Joan Luther:
your scandalous ability to always be new. wonderful!
Posted 12/01/2023 05:31 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
Powerful poem, Ken. "you command presence as you move through space, as your body joins the imagination of those who watch" Yes, indeed!
Posted 12/01/2023 01:29 PM
Janice Galt:
A new insight into the delight I feel when Blue Jay visits my feeders! Thank you!
Posted 12/01/2023 12:36 PM
Glen Sorestad:
Congratulations, Ken! Youve captured that early morning riser in all its cheeky presence and color. I love it.
Posted 12/01/2023 11:28 AM
I just can't take in enough of these scenes! Love the title of your collection!
Posted 12/01/2023 09:58 AM
Leslie Hodge:
Impactful sonnet - just 2 sentences and the word "scandalous"! Through words of the poem, we are gifted with the jay's essence.
Posted 12/01/2023 09:53 AM
Larry Schug:
This poem has just the right mixture of nature, beauty and just a hint of naughtiness. "you command presence as you move through space," is really pretty insightful. The last half is what feels deliciously naughty--and I love it.
Posted 12/01/2023 07:47 AM

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