Kingfisher Song

You were too eager to please,
I chided myself, so keen to
Write that the venerable pen
Leapt from your desk and in
To your head where it bled
Through the clenched fist
Of your thoughts, the other
Hand, where I could not write,
But fell asleep in fields
Unfurling fallow whites.

Bald world, as blanched
From colour and sounds as
When the midwife caught you
Like steelhead trout in
Nets of coastal fisher-folk
Who could not speak themselves,
Brine burnt their throats;
They held their plunder up
To the sun, trident-spiked,
Piscine mouths in pristine
Exhibitions of shock,
Joyous affinity as one
With the kingfisher god,
As later priests held up
Broken bread and the veins
Of the grace and the good.
I’ve observed how a ritual is
Repetition streaming through
Survival’s gills, waking up,
My pen still in my hand,
Without scolding myself,
Then wrote.

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