Poem #9 of the 30/30 challenge for Poetry Month (April 9)


Light seeps upward from a dark horizon,
hiding last night’s darkness with a swelling
sphere, a gradual pink and orange glow.

The sounds of birds, celebrating survival
through the night, fill the air growing more insistent
with each passing moment until the chorus reaches crescendo.

An old man sits on a well-worn wooden bench
on the balcony perched high above the forest floor,
bathing in this avian cantata and sipping black coffee.

Warm steam arises from his cup and clings to the
stubble of his salt and sand beard as he inhales the
intense aromas of oak and coffee and acorns and earth.

He calls to the old woman still in bed coaxing and
cajoling her to leave her cocoon, to become a
butterfly and absorb the music, the mystery.

As she sweeps through French doors to the deck
he watches her eyes flash with each note, reveling
in the music and art of the symphony of sound.

This early morning, this moment, is a captive of
time, weaving senses and emotions into fabric,
spinning memories on a loom of wonder.


[This one was extracted from, or at least inspired by, a short story I wrote recently. They’re wildly divergent, but related. This draft demonstrates that relationship, sort of like coffee and insomnia.]

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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