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Wednesday, February 03, 2021


by W.F. Lantry

Small unfamiliar birds with opened wings—
their feathers leaving patterns in the snow
each time they light beside hand scattered seed—

gather just now past dawn along the fence
and in the pine bough drifts, as if to wait
for some break in the lengthening cascades

falling around them everywhere. Now wind
twirls the needles, shakes the laden twigs,
and great clusters of light, in unison,

fall silently to earth. It is a sign
I cannot read or hope to understand
but universal to those sunrise wings.

And each, in harmony, flits to the rail,
then leaps down gently to the crystal drift
where millet, fallen from the feeders, spreads

rough patterns, as bird shadows interweave
bright multicolored leaping mirrored forms
against the silken backdrop of new snow.

W.F. Lantry spent many years gardening in his native San Diego and in the South of France. Currently he lives in the frozen North of DC. He has two full-length collections: The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award, and The Terraced Mountain (Little Red Tree). Honors include: The National Hackney Literary Award, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors' Prize, Old Red Kimono Paris Lake Poetry Prize, and Potomac Review Prize. He is the editor of Peacock Journal