Starlings In Winter

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

by Mary Oliver

Comments (11)

Sometimes the words just work, , this is such a case On concert nights her voice takes flight. and fills the hall with her radiant soul. Brilliant* Love duncan X
Robert, notes of joy can never be a soliloquy. I thought that there were songs without words, but I think, after reading your poem, that every song will eventually have words. I want a poem read at my funeral to remember me by.
I've just read this again and so must comment again: Robin is wonderfully well-named! Your poetry inspires me; thank you for that. Esther : ]
Beautiful piece, through your words we have seen the admiration you hold for your songbird, thank you for seeing what most take for granted.
A very unique tribute to your beautiful songbird. Kindest regards, Sandra
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