Bird of Prey

Ode to COVID

With affection for T.S. Eliot

I counted the days

During humanity’s famines

Until the gospels exhausted

And the serenades

Replayed to madness

On fretless instruments

With frivolous pedals

Until the verity felt heavy

The exponential feathered

The algorithm avian

And on those days—

I became a bird of prey

The falconer’s bride

Queen of the outer vane

Airborne adorned

In armor quilled

A huntress crested

In plumes of doom

Festooned between

Strangely leaning trees

A red-tailed augury

Returning to tether

On the leathered wrist

Of my listless lover

A destroyer beset

With infallible talons

A night eye’d carnivore

Sustained on 

The thinning of oxygen

I surveyed a domain

Barren but for the thorns

Comprised of mice and men

Of cholera and bent antennas

Dead lands littered

With numbered doors

Answers feigned in aftermaths

Affections held before-the-wars

And I did not sing—

I screamed at the skies

An oracle

Of scorched earth

From my perch

On a prolific nest

Of prose

I would sleep to dream

Of wings and arrows

Visions given

To the detriment

Of the sparrows

a. duncan, 2020

Video featured song: ‘Tick Tock goes the Clock’ by Jo Blankenburg

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Amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus || Love is rich with both honey and venom

13 thoughts on “Bird of Prey

      1. Aw, I’m so glad! I think our convo about guitars/microphones sort of planted that metaphor into my mind. As I was writing this I needed a way to describe the feeling of trying to stay patient and calm in a world/situation/relationship that is crumbling. I thought about how frustrated we would be trying to write or perform a song on instruments that were incapacitated or out of tune on some level. The fretless instruments with frivolous pedals serve as a metaphorical catalyst.

        The poem itself is essentially about how I goto dark, angry places in my mind when I witness people’s selfishness. I become a “bird of prey”, filled with the urge to pick off the “mice”. Obviously those behaviors and my awareness of them are heightened during a crisis. The people I care about inspire me constantly and you’re one of them. 🖤🦊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s awful that the worst in people arise during the worst possible moments. I can see that behavior driving you dark places. Sometimes, when I’m in a dark place, it’s the time that I get creative. I’m blushing and honored that you consider me an inspiration. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  1. April, so intelligent with such darkly beautiful metaphors. It swoops down and around and lands in my heart with its talons. “A huntress crested
    In plumes of doom.”

    “I surveyed a domain
    Barren but for the thorns
    Comprised of mice and men
    Of cholera and bent antennas”

    You create an atmosphere with your words that conveys the conditions that spread this virus. And the misguided nature of some.


    Liked by 1 person

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