Today's poem is by George Looney
Madness in the Form of Birds
Folks say mynahs mimic human speech.
Flocks of them settle on
the parapets of the local monastery
and speak to monks. These men,
who haven't heard human language
for years, sit, backs against bricks,
and cry. The mynahs come to them
as madness in the form of birds,
memories of the women they touch
asleep. The mynahs, they think
but never say, are demons. Like most
demons, they are irresistible.
The monks leave bread out for the mynahs
and dream of speaking the word love
to the birds, who don't know
their effect on the silent men. They come for
bread and the warmth of the sun
on the bricks of the parapets
and speak, out of kindness, nonsense
they've heard others like the monks
speak. They think the tears
are gratitude. The mynahs are wise birds.
Any monk would tell you that.
If he could. If he weren't a man
who needs a bird to speak for him.
Copyright © 2004 George Looney All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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