Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Requiem for a Thrush

Last October I found a thrush dead on the asphalt outside my downtown studio.  I scooped up the olive-brown bird — limp 
but still so exquisite.  Then placing it on my drawing table, I studied those intricate feathers around beak and eye, while sketching 
its stiffened scaly feet.  And I couldn't help but think about the difference between natural death and the senseless death of road-kill.  
It then occurred to me that I might one day create a video with Dan’s poem, “If I Were GOD,” as a requiem to all those creatures 
who die from our blundering ways. 
                                                                                                                                        — Suzanne


     If I Were GOD . . .

Thrushes would not plunge
       through ice-storms, snapping

                   off those hulking towers
                          I’d allowed to rise

& thrive, nor suck into
       great engines streaking

                    shrilly overhead
                           nor would I let them

slap against the blind
       herd of smeared windshields

                    zapping glibly through
                           VAST DAYLIGHT on My

thoroughfares below.  Nor
      would they perish in lost flocks

                    flung to chill waves
                             by shocking shifts

of climate that, when dreamy,
       I’d allowed.  I’d beg Myself: No

                    more.  No more mistakes. 
                          But in My SECOND

COVENANT, I’d now so much
       more carefully devise, of balmy

                    days of Grace for feathered sprites
       so intricately fashioned on

                  the third day of My ART,
                          I’d touch their slumping

spirits with hushed sighs of mild
        breeze, those fragile bodies

                    stammering with aches so fine
                            they’d soothe / as, chirring,

they’d float down through sunlit
        updrafts, buoying a most gradual
                   descent . . . till sweeping through
                           the tree-limbs, past those

 bare nests where their brief lives
        had begun, they’d settle

                     oh so lightly

                                into brush.                               

sketchbook page, thrush


"If I Were GOD" was first published in Ascent, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota.