Uses For Wings - Variations From 'We Can Be Broken' & Other Discarded Poems - Poem by Warren Falcon
'It means so much that we can be broken.' - from an early poem,1978
For Tien Ho, departed,
and Michael R.
carving the empty space
of her leaving still
Here is a Presence beyond
illicit fires bearing witness
to evidence, remains of flight,
contrived escapes blocked by panes,
walls striped in ramming panic,
of ritual and a broken neck,
petrified wings placed in open
spaces they once could range.
a bird flown down a chimney
dying in an empty house,
a hidden mountain valley,
night time fires upon surrounding
hills, moonshine stills signaling
flame warnings, bootleggers' silent
spirits conjuring drip by drip
metal and grain.
Here are uses for wings:
or turning inward
or fallen to some chimney life.
Descending the hill in unplanned rehearsal
for what has become a destined association,
our mutual confession is invisibly drawn.
A ruined one-room church appears,
a cemetery plot weed-hidden behind this
once sentinel house long remote to men,
as present as God. My own presence is bound
to his who stands confounded now as three,
one above grave, one within it, and me
in between, one eye upon him, the other
upon sagging dirt where bones and a
ragged shirt share an unexpected
moment of veils confused in sunlight's
disarray of leaves, wood, of stone and
shadows frozen there, not breathing
for us all in unstoried astonishment.
Here horseflies feast.
Upon weathered stones
are only creases for once were
names, dates, even God's Word,
chiseled by a now unknown hand,
an impression only, one among many,
reduced to no plot but that of Providence
left to surmise swatting at Eucharistic
flies proving only flesh and only blood,
a flood of questions eventually exhaled,
and exhaling still, waiting beside
a white rock with wings,
leaning into changes.
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