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Accidental Bird Diver Scroll

2004, ink and acrylic on washi; 61 x 15 inches


after Accidental Bird by W. B. Yeats


So far from that place I call home
I rose from dream, a stranger to my room
Confused and looking for something known
A window called, first light of sun

and fall of moon.


Opening there to dawn’s quickening flame
A sudden flash and flutter passed me winging
A morning bird! stumbling came
Through my window, its blunder halting

morning’s singing.


All about my strange unbirdish space
(What are walls and ceilings to a bird?)
The accidental bird flew panicked round my face
Throwing feather and frail wing

in abbreviated flight, absurd.


My heart, racing now with the creature’s, flung open the doors
But so soon exhausted by its fear
The wide-eyed dove lay trembling on the floor
And trembling doubled as

I bent near.


Days and weeks have passed and still

the accidental bird residing

In my chamber means I’m not alone.
The bird and I are trapped in our deciding:
Can the tender, trembling

–expanding heart
be called a home?