Poetry / July 2011 (Issue 14)

On Birds

by Miroslav Kirin

I know, I will never be able to approach the birds, not even think of talking with them. Birds are transitive beings between a cube and a pyramid. The cube contains the password for sweetness, the pyramid an energy field of everlasting youth. Birds have hollow bones; the air relaxes inside them as they fly. Inside them is my dream, which I like to believe is true – it's my short flight from the top of the hill into the wagon full of hay. It was the afternoon in July, thousands of small flies were in the air. Only birds can have birdies, which is the essence of all forms of endearment. The envy of crickets is a burden to them, but they endure. It goes easily with the silent fish; they are exactly the same what birds are, but in the inverted world of water. That's why they help them sing rapturously, which is almost a Christian mission. Some people did know how to talk with them, take St. Francis – the birds used to peck words from his mouth, and he their warbling, respectively. Messiaen was just a good student of him who recorded his teacher's conversations with approximate exactness. Tell me what happiness is, he asked and they answered him. What are the cables it uses to travel far and wide? Does it use wireless connection? Who should I ask about it? And how much does it cost? But you cannot talk with the birds any more. Not even like Chinese artist Zhang Huan did – he spread honey all over his naked body, bathed it in birdseed, sat in the large birdcage and let the doves peck the seeds on his body. Do we really have to make them talk with us that way? What? There they are, beneath the window, pecking. All day long. Once in a while they fly off on some branch, and then land on the ground again. And peck again. They don't grow bigger, don't get fat, their voices do not change, whether they were full or starving. They are pecking, but there is nothing to peck. In winter, blackbirds try to assure the soil that it is still rich, that it has not gone poor as its grass has withered and it turned cold and seems to be dying. You are attractive, the birds shout to her and resume pecking, making little holes to let the warmth come out. Can we trust these creatures in black? Their hunger is a pledge of truth. Nevertheless, I am glad that birds and I will never be able to converse. I am talking, but I haven't got anything to say, haven't got anyone to talk to. Hence the attraction between us that no nocturnal conversation can replace.
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