Poem and Artwork by Irene Koronas

Painting © Irene Koronas
Painting © Irene Koronas

 

fly off the page “feathered tribe”

fish crow do not fear danger
from the lords of the land

oyster catchers above the reeds
chased by dogs or larger enemies
living in the half – submerged wilderness

ruby throated humming bird
lulling insects to their repose

mallard probing mud
waging war against leech and lizard

fruits of knavery, gay deceivers
almost silent in their snug closet setting
or crawling through tall saw grass
they zigzag until near enough
to raise the flock

in broken array
gorgeous yellow tints
by sleepy water the predator
waits until day break

as if aware the fire in woody firmness
encroaches their sugar house
gilded flair, broken frames
we picture a bird’s life as fair

kind reader please be advised
I promote pleasure, dexterity and motion
I have seen branches covered by callous fire
without ceasing, dark glossy bodies
and noble flight become extinct

I’ve seen air filled with countless pigeons
multitudes eclipse the noon day sun
boundary of my yard

I give up all expectation
for blue birds to survive
the great black back gull
arrives and I despair seeing
him hover over my head
then disappear again
sweeping along so low
pond spine cracks open
hunters air takes aim

who thinks birds do not resist
our smoke and lies
skinning birds for pleasure and profit
opening the bird
from his lower end breast bone
to within half an inch
the point from which it starts
pushing up the legs the butcher
cuts the bone just below the knee
which loosens all its nerves
then pulls skin backward over
legs and head
remember you will find bird skin
comes off the bone easily

God willing we may know
the intentions of innocence

birds flying home
will they be long after we leave
this burning field
this truth, nothing but the truth
so help me Lord

common barn owls reside
in very close cemeteries
along with chuck – will’s – widow

passenger pigeons in underground nest

when some bird enemies are close
the female never moves
she crouches lower until the enemy passes-
assuming a stately gait she deliberately
walks and clucks – mother hens
will not leave hatchlings
under any circumstance
while life remains
she will suffer anything
but will not abandon them

this is the arrival and departure list:

     1.      hawk billed turtle arrives and departs
     2.      turtle eggs collected and destroyed
     3.      ivory billed woodpeckers gone
     4.      american crows arrive on time
     5.      turkey buzzards abound
     6.      common gannet still around
     7.      pelicans on florida coast
     8.      poets and painters almost obsolete
     9.      writers, all in house breeds, with degrees, come and go
     10.                 woodcock and snipe come and go
     11.                  ibis and heron seem suited to this life

they all walk so gracefully
until the claws and legs
are broken off, eaten

little rivers and hermit thrush

 

Irene Koronas has a fine arts degree from Mass College of Art Boston. She is a multi-media artist working with paint, collage, mono-printing, artists books, poetry and photography. She is currently the poetry editor for Wilderness House Literary Review. Her poetry has appeared in journals, magazines, and online zines. Her poetry is in eight anthologies, and she has two full length books, self portrait drawn from many Ibbettson Street Press; pentakomo cyprus, Červená Barva Press . Emily Dickinson, Propaganda Press (chapbooks); Zero Boundaries Cervena Barva Press, Turtle Grass Muddy River Books, will be available in April 2014

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