Size / / /

We scatter the bird seed

which is guaranteed

not to germinate,

and realize once more we've fallen prey

to misleading advertising:

The seeds immediately sprout

acres of jays

that, in some cannibalistic

parent and child reunion,

turn on the remaining seeds

and devour them before more jays can appear.

All this appetite at least provides a check

on the suddenly exploding bird population.

Now I'm scattering the remaining seeds

into the air by the handful,

watching the jays

appear for a moment in midair,

snatch up the airborne seeds

before they themselves

are swallowed by the sky.




Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
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26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
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