Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry


I may not be a bird, but I have observed them closely.
—Amazon Trail educational software


ESO 593-IG 008: The Bird Nebula

Credit: ESO, some rights reserved

I was listening to the stars 
murmuring about their violent past
as the moon chimed with faint corroboration.
Their incendiary rhetoric hovered. Patience, hah.
It’s always about havoc, isn’t it.

I squinted into a sky frost-
bitten with clouds. The sun rose like
a vocal inflection at the end of a question
which the speaker had no reason
to believe would ever be answered.

I writhed uncomfortably
under the sifting rain of voices.
Birds slashed the silent air. I may not
be a bird, but I can imagine how
it would feel to have wings. Flap.

I thought I saw myself
descending through branches, reduced
to one ray of brilliant light. I tried
to remember the birds, but by then
I was pretty much wherever

[subsequent stanzas no longer exist.]

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F.J. Bergmann has never been a bird, although she dreams of flight. She is the editor of Star*Line and the poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change.