Green owl I have never seen
for such a bird has never been,
listen yet to my true word,
a bunch of leaves on a tree
shifted to form an owl
with eyes and feathers green,
so wild in my garden tame,
watched through my window,
soft, low, I heard it hoot your name.
To maps of lands that never were,
that never could be,
to other worlds, strange kingdoms
green owl clutched the key,
will remain the lure
to reach your longed for shore.
Bird has not the brain to dream
to be a man.
In his mind, a man can be a bird,
to be a bird man.
On a mountain, to perch, fly off,
beyond the desire of Icarus.
Soar over city towers,
splash through rock pools on the shore.
Focus fades, energy exhausts,
is a bird man no more.
Book Bird Wrote
This book contains the solving of the paradox.
It was found with keys and locks in a stone chamber.
The lid took an age to remove.
The text is very fine, high. Not human written.
Its language is alien, translated into that of early Earth,
first civilization speech.
Its scribe, perhaps humorously,
describes itself as a bird.
Its plan to fly away once its task is done.
Scholars would admire it for its poetry only.
Attempt to locate its author in some pre-Biblical time,
somewhere in what became Sumeria.
Its first words I quote:
Book bird wrote. Begin.
From land crane cry, from oceans whale song,
wind and silence else.
Creation seems simple till the mind attends to itself,
considers the rope riddle, craves its untanglement.
My word path the paradox will present and solve.
In a hut on stilts, above marsh reed and water, I write.
It goes on so, for many pages.
The book is silence made solid.
It disturbs, excites, like thunder,
more searing to the soul than inferno’s gate,
holds the fear of shoreless ocean,
when open, no secrets then.
Her Piano Tune
She played her love in a minor key,
to say it was deep, not sad.
Her piano found her melody,
the best tune she ever had.
Clarinet jazz in dim city bars,
solo saxophones on stage,
trumpet traffic droned with horns of cars,
scored the unharmonic age.
She still had tools to build her tower,
tunes too fine for violin,
eternal tapped in a passing hour
was the music of within.
So she pedalled her piano slow,
hurt by crimes heard on the news.
Her cargo she had the strength to tow,
found the chords to play the blues.
She stayed alone in the concert hall
with red roses in her hand.
As waves and the wind will lift and fall,
she still wades towards her land.
Dreamed she flew in a white aeroplane,
from the engine came no sound.
She counted clouds, flowing hills of rain
that fell far with her to ground.
Described her house like a hollow tree,
her melody had no name.
From her harbour, launched it on the sea,
to sail beyond pain and blame.
dark mountain summits,
like cracked crowns,
axe hewn, broken helmets,
cleave through clouds,
spike the sky.
Few venture up there,
some train to try.
Unbidden, granite island,
green and grey,
built around me,
sat in my kitchen,
broadened and surrounded,
came back to me today.
Men cannot build there,
will always be the wild.
I smiled on that comfort,
my vision clear,
to see it as a child.
All right, I am going,
I remember saying,
I know I can only wander here.
This is the wild,
no place for settlement.
I looked up and saw an eagle,
it soared out from a peak,
wide winged, further south,
it vanished, woke wonder, deeper than my tongue can speak.
Philip Dodd is a English poet currently living in Liverpool. He has published many written works over the years. He studied English Literature at Newcastle University before pursueing his career in writing.
Where to find out more about Philip Dodd
Where to buy
Still the Dawn Poems and Ballads
Category Fantasy Fiction
Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle
Category Fantasy Fiction