“Flock” by Rachel Byler; for more information, visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheColorfulCatStudio

Avian Typography

by Delia Garigan

Asphalt—and over that heavy scent the birds are wheeling—
diving and rising as they weave past water and trees.
Clearing the pavement—over and over—they plummet and climb.
Cascades of crystalline calls—each species of cry a twirled kerning—
are flight’s embellishment, tumbling in the liquid stream.
Serifs trail, litanies dip and lilt, approaching explication—
insistent repetition, sung and written.

Instructions posted: a grid of peckered drill-holes
across a sprouting trunk. Each depthless glyph has plunged
a heartwood’s well of meaning. These earnest punctures
are their punctuation: persistent sound transcribed—
the rhyme, botanized. A mass of speech—now drifting—
they are telling, not asking; iterating yet again.
Hear the riff of meaning sift back, into the wind.

About Delia Garigan

As a child in rural Oregon, Delia Garigan assumed animals understood her words. She has spent time as a research scientist and a Zen monastic, and currently studies poetry at Portland’s Attic Institute. Her work has also been published in VoiceCatcher.