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Mateuš Conrad Nov 2015
well peasant boy milked the cow proved god
that fed and gave the mosquito,
and the people still desired the flashy bling:
that stole the magpie -
that stole the magpie from the cake
in diadem of whipped cream of having it too;
what the magpie stole, from having it too to not having
it, the magpie with the magpie’s thieving eye
accustomed itself to what is desired being thieved
but not thieved by a magpie:
aesop’s eloquence would have helped here
to compare a silver spoon given to the groom
prior to marriage... as the twinkle in that magpie’s eye
or the antidote in bullet shot at a warewolf
sitting lonesome with the moon, bare-chested in the forest
hearing a creepy sound of a fallen branch breaking nearby
under pressure from a foot - echoing the words:
‘no wild animal comes this close to man in the depths of its niche.’
JC Lucas Sep 2015
Magpie alights on the eaves
tonguing a bitter wild berry
***** head left,
right,
decides against this spot
and relocates to a new one
out of sight.

Autumn happened today,
again.
Same as every year.
I was under the shade of the porch,
coffee in hand,
and smelt a change in the taste of the wind.
It's been at least ten degrees cooler
and I've donned the first piece of warm clothing
since April.

Magpie perches on the red wooden
fence on my right,
still gently squeezing that berry-
as if testing its ripeness.
Head ***** left,
head ***** right,
magpie flies away.

The leaves will start to turn this week.
Maybe next.
My coffee is lukewarm now,
same as the air.

Magpie sits in the yard
and carefully sets his lunch down,
prods his beak into the soil,
picks it back up,
and buries it for later.
Magpie flies away.

A rush of cold air sweeps through me.

Same as every year.

I rise and walk,
mug in hand,
back inside.
Mateuš Conrad Oct 2016
and the myth goes along the lines - had i but the eyes to spot
a silver spoon - there chimed a magpie in the the night,
a cackle compared with the rhapsodic
crow call to wake up Barbarossa...
                    the cackle and the literary laugh...
there she was, with the Kraken -
                        she was there bewildered
to sing a song, sroka among the magpie calls
to tell tales of silenced lightning
                        without thunder.....
                shamanic in the extreme:
what a strange nationalism being born
with extracts of a former colonialism in Ukraine -
lost, forgotten, and a brief testament to Israel -
do i feel any pride? perhaps i should...
                  i better myself in the word spoken:
sroka is above magpie -
       the serenity of the sharpened consonants,
the flight to become werewolf legend -
                               sroka, or magpie -
as a language there are some offences -
                           which cannot translate, but merely
tarnish...
                                     s and r
           are two consonants that out-perform stress /
authenticity when m and g are used...
                the tongue is more important than the breath,
counter the metaphysical greek breath that's known
as psyche: i.e.                    γλωßα -
                                         to treat the tongue akin
to the mind, and soul as the authenticity of the verb
thought: when all organs automate, akin
to the kidneys dialysis.
           yes, sroka / magpie...
                                crow / kruk             / crux
                      or the shadow of Golgotha...
                                     toward us: the darkened hour...
                           to gloss over - to speak a phrase in demand -
                 sire *** qua non byzantine sprechen.
there  was a little magpie a little thief was he
he came in to my garden and landed on my tree
waiting for his chance for something he could rob
then on to my table the magpie he did bob
he took my silver spoon for staring up my tea
held it in his beak then magpie he did flee
magpie he returned looking for some more
so he could steel again and in the sky would soar
this went on a while so i put my things away
now i have never seen him to this very day
there  was a little magpie a little thief was he
he came in to my garden and landed on my tree
waiting for his chance for something he could rob
then on to my table the magpie he did bob.

he took my silver spoon for stirring up my tea
held it in his beak then magpie he did flee
magpie he returned looking for some more
so he could steel again and in the sky would soar.

this went on a while so i put my things away
now i have never seen him to this very day
Olivia Kent Oct 2013
Magpie Dancers

Noisy screaming folklore.
Swirled over rail road track.
Firstly one for sorrow.
Soon joined by a mate.
A rash a dash of flapping wings.
Then there were three.
Is it to be a girl perhaps.
My daughters little chick.

A moment later.
Raucous noisy bird number four descended.
Train flashed past.
A flick of silver sparks from emitted from the line.
Hey presto.
Magical mystery bird number five.
Appeared as the train went by.

His entrance not spotted.
Five lucky birds flew over the track.
Magpie number six.
He was the unlucky chap.
Landed on the track.
Train won't stop for magpie.
His number henceforth up!
By ladylivvi1

© 2013 ladylivvi1 (All rights reserved)
Tommy N Oct 2010
They don’t feel it like your brother did. They don’t
burn out in streaks of brilliant fire. They don’t get to.

The magpie dies like a magpie
and writhes with magpie feelings
screams in a magpie voice
and goes to magpie heaven.
Written 2009 during the English program at Augustana College

Published in Augusta College's in-house literary magazine, Saga: Volume 73 Issue ***
Ronald J Chapman Jun 2015
Far to the East,
My heart travels with desire,

Where memories of flying with a magpie send me dreaming,

Flying high above hazy cliffs of Kosŏng-****,
I see, Oh wow!
What is this ship sitting on top of a mountain?
A cruise ship was shining like a blue and white sea shell in the sunshine,

The magpie yells come follow me and see other amazing things,
Beautiful Hangang shows me the way back home,

My heart beats with desire,
As the magpie beckons me to follow my dreams,
And come back home.

Copyright © 2015 Ronald J Chapman All Rights Reserved.
SUN CRUISE HOTEL - SOUTH KOREA
https://youtu.be/TO3Kv3qa69o
aar505n Jun 2014
A brilliant blaze high in the sky
banishing the shy clouds away
revealing the purest of hues, a bright blue.

A single magpie flies nearby
I wish it didn't stay
as one for sorrow is very true

I suspected the sky to suddenly cry
for nature to obey, ruining my day
receiving the misery due

Instead the sun refused to comply
the single magpie it did disobey
And a second magpie came, as if on cue

With two magpie it did imply
what a joy will be today
Two are rarely a rue

To quick was I to jump to the negative
presuming the worst, my fatal imperative

Because when they go to fly
My happiness won't die

I don't need to anchor my well being on what I see
Cause all I need to enjoy life is me

I watch the two magpies now with amusement
soaking in this wondrous moment
Terry O'Leary Nov 2013
Ah Consuela! Invoking vast vistas for visions of green Spanish eyes,
I discern them again where she left me back then,
                 as we kissed when she parted, my friend.
Through those ruins I tread towards the footlights, now dead,
                 where I’ll muse as her shadows ascend.

                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she teases the mirror with green Spanish eyes;
her serape entangles her brooches and bangles
                 like lace on the sorcerer’s looms,
and her cape of the night, she drapes tight to excite,
                 and her fan is embellished with plumes.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as spectators savour her green Spanish eyes;
taming wild concertinas, the dark ballerina
                 performs on the music hall stage,
but she shies from the sound of ovation unbound
                 like a timorous bird in a cage.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she quickens the pit with her green Spanish eyes;
as the cymbals shake, clashing, the floodlights wake, flashing,
                 igniting the wild fireflies,
and the piccolo piper’s inviting the vipers
                 to coil neath the cold caldron skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the shimmering shadows in green Spanish eyes
as I rise from my chair and proceed to the stair
                 with a hesitant sip of my wine.
Though she doesn’t deny me, she wanders right by me
                 with neither a look nor a sign.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the stage with her green Spanish eyes,
(for her senses scoff, scorning the biblical warning
                 of kisses of Judas that sting,
with her pierced ears defeating the echoes repeating)
                 and smiles at the magpie that sings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching faint embers a’ stir in her green Spanish eyes,
for a soft spoken stranger enveloping danger
                 has captured the rhyme in the room
as he slips into sight through a crack in the night
                 midst the breath of her heavy perfume.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she gauges his guise through her green Spanish eyes
– from his gypsy-like mane, to his diamond stud cane,
                 to the raven engraved on his vest –
for a faraway form, a tempestuous storm,
                 lurks and heaves neath the cleav’e of her *******.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the caravels cruising her green Spanish eyes;
with the castanets clacking like ancient masts cracking
                 he whips ’round his cloak with a ****
and without sacrificing, at mien so enticing,
                 she floats with her face facing his.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the vertigo veiling her green Spanish eyes,
while the drumbeat pounds, droning, the rhythm sounds, moaning,
                 of jungles Jamaican entwined
in the valleys concealing the vineyards revealing
                 the vaults in the caves of her mind.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching life’s carnivals call to her green Spanish eyes,
and with paused palpitations the tom-tom temptations
                 come taunting her tremulous feet
with her toe tips a’ tingle while jute boxes jingle
                 for jesters that jive on the street.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she rides ocean tides in her green Spanish eyes,
and her silhouette’s travelling on ripples unravelling
                 and shaking the shipwracking shores,
as she strides from the light to the black cauldron night
                 through the candlelit cabaret doors.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she dances till dawn flashing green Spanish eyes,
with her movements adorning a trickle of morning
                 as sipped by the mouth of the moon,
while her tresses twirl, shaming the filaments flaming
                 that flow from the sun’s oval spoon.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she masks for a moment her green Spanish eyes.
Then the magpie that sings ceases preening her wings
                 and descends as a lean bird of prey –
as she flutters her ’lashes and laughs in broad splashes,
                 his narrowing eyes start to stray.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching fey carousels spin in her green Spanish eyes,
and the porcelain ponies and leprechaun cronies
                 race, reaching for gold and such things,
even being reminded that only the blinded
                 are fooled by the brass in the rings.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she shepherds the shadows with green Spanish eyes,
but as evening sinks, ebbing, the skyline climbs, webbing,
                 and weaves through the temples of stone,
while the nightingales sing of a kiss on the wing
                 in the depths of the dunes all alone.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the music and magic in green Spanish eyes,
as she dances enchanted, while firmly implanted
                 in tugs of his turbulent arms,
till he cuts through the strings, tames the magpie that sings,
                 and seduces once more with his charms.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, the citadel steams in her green Spanish eyes,
but behind the dark curtain the savants seem certain
                 that nothing and no one exists,
and though vapours look vacant, the vagabond vagrants
                 remain within mythical mists.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching as lightning at midnight in green Spanish eyes
kindles cracks within crystals like flashes from pistols
                 residing inside of the gloom
as it hovers above us betraying a dove as
                 she flees from the fountain of doom.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, distilling despair in her green Spanish eyes,
and the bitterness stings like the snap of the strings
                 when a mystical  mandolin sighs
as the vampire shades **** the life from charades
                 neath the resinous residue skies.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she looks to the ledge with her green Spanish eyes,
for the terrace hangs high and she’s thinking to fly
                 and abandon fate’s merry-go-round.
At the edge I perceive her and rush to retrieve her –
                 she stumbles, falls far to the ground.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching the sparkles a’ spilling from green Spanish eyes.
As I peer from the railing, with evening exhaling,
                 I cry out a lover’s lament –
there she lies midst the crowd with her spirit unbowed,
                 but her body’s all broken and bent.

Ah Consuela! I’m watching, she beckons me hither with green Spanish eyes,
and I’m slightly amazed being snared in her gaze
                 and a’ swirl in a hurricane way,
but the seconds are slipping, my courage is dripping,
                 the moment is bleeding away.

Ah Consuela! I touch her - she weeps tender tears from her green Spanish eyes;
as the breezes cease blowing, her essence leaves, flowing,
                 in streams neath the ambient light,
and the droplets drip swarming, so silent, yet warming,
                 like rain in a midsummer night.

Ah Consuela! I hold her, am hushed by the hints in her green Spanish eyes,
while her whispers are breathing the breaths of the seething
                 electrical skeletal winds,
and the words paint the poems that rivers a’ slowin’
                 reveal where the waterfall ends.

Ah Consuela! I’m fading in fires a’ flicker in green Spanish eyes,
as she plays back the past, she abandons and casts
                 away matters that no longer mend.
           .
                  .
And she reached out instead, as she lifted her head,
                 and we kissed as she parted, my friend.
           .
                  .
                          .
Ah Consuela! I’m tangled, entombed, trapped in tales of your green Spanish eyes,
in forsaken cantinas beyond the arenas
                 where night-time illusions once flowed,
for the ash neath my shoulder still throbs as it smoulders
                 some place near the end of the road.
CharlesC Jun 2013
This bird
of duality
distinct black
and white..
but then:
a high perch
seeing all..
in swooping flight
separates join and
one body soars..
Mr. Magpie retorts
I'm two in one...

Then this from
a friend:
you are forgetting
the thievery..
How about thievery
Mr. Magpie..?
collecting and
hoarding of
shiny objects..?
Mr. M. once more:
black is thievery
shiny is white..
I'm two in one..!
thanks, linda... :)
Deb Jones Mar 2018
She seems like a bumble bee
Quick and flighty

Her eyes always flitting
Her gaze ever flirty

People are drawn to her
They love her liveliness and charm

Her attention casually given
So lovely and warm

Her words are like wine
You feel heady and drunk

You want to be closer
To be noticed and loved

It's so warm
That attention of hers

But she is looking for treasures
Assessing worth

She collects hearts
No matter the cost

Being caught in her net
Doesn't feel bad

The knowing look in her eyes
Doesn't offend

It's like having a secret
Unknown to the rest

What no one sees
Is that gaze they admire

Is furtive and restless
Tallying the tolls

Assessing treasures
To line her nest

Taking and using
Her charm is all gilt

A thin layer of gold
Covering her soul

Do you never wonder why
Most of her crowd are men?

She is a Magpie
She has collected you
Cyril Blythe Sep 2012
I followed him down the trail until we got to the mouth of the mines. The life and energy of the surrounding maples and birches seemed to come to a still and then die as we walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelt of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a slimy smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” He rolled his eyes.
“Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. In my blinding anger I lost track of his lantern. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I did in Peru.
I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Somewhere in front of me the canary chirped.

When I first got the job in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack said. He handed me the manila case envelope. “He’s lived in rural Vermont his entire life. Apparently his family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When the accident happened the whole town basically shut down. There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly after. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He ships them to other mining towns across the country now. We want to run a piece about the inhumanity of breeding animals to die so humans won’t.” I stood in silence in front of his deep mahogany desk, suddenly aware of the lack of make-up on my face. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”

“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers? Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.” Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me. He relit the oily lantern and turned his back without another word. I reluctantly followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” and hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants interspersed in-between. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good nights sleep and defeat this towns fear of John Delvos tomorrow.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag and pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC. I stepped out onto the dirt in front of my door and lit up. I looked up and the stars stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except it’s sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the stars dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off.
“I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Waters, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Waters, are you new to town?”
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
The stars tiptoed in their tiny circles above in the silence. Then, they disappeared with a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the stars dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Waters. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the cold dust beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed, “See that yellow notch?” Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am to find out where to find this elusive Mr. Delvos and his canaries.”
“You don’t have to,” he knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree, “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The stars dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary chirped and Delvos stopped.
“This is a good place to break out fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky this morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Waters.” Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I hurriedly stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased, “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers, I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with flickering yellow brushes and songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so of course I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the birds little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was ‘Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
The canary chirped, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines, but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?” He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast.
“Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Waters, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the CEO’s for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Waters.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Waters. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the little, yellow canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up and the memory of his green and brown wooded homestead fled from my memory as the mine again consumed my consciousness. Dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.
The canary chirped.
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelt of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The Canary was flitting its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminating the surrounding gloom. All was completely still and even my own vapor seemed to fall out of my mouth and simply die. The canary was dancing a frantic jig, now, similar to the mating dance of the Great Frigate Bird I shot in the Amazon jungle. As I watched the canary and listened to its small wings beat against the cold metal cage I begin to feel dizzy. The bird’s cries had transformed into a scream colder than fire and somehow more fierce.
The ability to fly is what always made me jealous of birds as a child, but as my temple throbbed and the canary danced I realized I was amiss. Screaming, yellow feathers whipped and the entire inside of the cage was instantaneously filled. It was beautiful until the very end. Dizzying, really.
Defeated, the canary sank to the floor, one beaten wing hanging out of the iron bars at a most unnatural angle. Its claws were opening and closing, grasping the tainted cave air, or, perhaps, trying to push it away. Delvos unclipped the cage and sat it on the floor in the space between us, lantern still held swaying above his head. The bird was aflame now, the silent red blood absorbing into the apologetic, yellow feathers. Orange, a living fire. I pulled out my camera as I sat on the ground beside the cage. I took a few shots, the camera’s clicks louder than the feeble chirps sounding out of the canary’s tattered, yellow beak. My head was spinning. Its coal-black eyes reflected the lantern’s flame above. I could see its tiny, red tongue in the bottom of its mouth.
Opening.
Closing.
Opening, wider, too wide, then,
Silence.


I felt dizzy. I remember feeling the darkness surround me; it felt warm.

“I vaguely remember Delvos helping me to my feet, but leaving the mine was a complete haze.” I told the panel back in D.C., “It wasn’t until we had crossed the stream on the way back to the cabin that I began to feel myself again. Even then, I felt like I was living a dream. When we got back to the cabin the sight of the lively yellow canaries in their coops made me cry. Delvos brought me a bottle of water and told me I needed to hit the trail because the sun set early in the winter, so I le
theres a magpie in my garden he is black and white
and he likes to steal things that are very bright
a proper little bandit who never wore a mask
stealing it was easy a simple little task
any thing that shone it would to catch his eye
he would pick it up then off again  would fly
up in to the air the magpie he would soar
then  would hide is ***** and come back for more
a cheeky little chap as cheeky as can be
a proper little pirate sailing also free.
betterdays Jun 2014
******* bug,
bled black blood.

crunching carapaces,
caught, crawling contentedly.

magpie's morning meal.

warbling, wistfully,woefully, wanting, weighty worms.

grabs, grub greedily,gulping.

magpie makes much, munch.

click, clack, clack, black beak.
famished family, finally, filled.
*****, flies.
finished, foraged feasting.
Don Bouchard Apr 2015
A fluff of feathers
Black and white,
Hide the scrawny scavenger
Whose "Rick, Rick, Rick!"
Identify some place of death,
This careful bandit's visiting.

He leaves outright robbery
To his cousin jay,
And flits,
One disaster to the next,
To see how he may capitalize.

Dead carrion, his usual fodder...
Yet one subzero winter day
I saw a magpie perched
Upon a shivering cow
Belly deep in snow, and
Chilled in minus 30 air,
Peck-scratching through a healing scab
And pulling living flesh away.
Nature in extremes is a cold-hearted witch. A memory from cattle-ranching days 30 years ago....
K Balachandran Nov 2012
When a blue magpie told she was beautiful,
she beamed like moon, every moment.
an ogre in dark cloak,
whom she mistook for a magician,
took every bit of her divine fragrance,
in exchange of misery unlimited.
Ronald J Chapman Dec 2014
National Liberation Day Of Korea

Freedom means August 15, 1945.
Koreans celebrate their day of liberation.

Freedom is like a Magpie,
Flying in the morning sky,
Above the ancient palaces of Seoul,

Freedom is like the Rose of Sharon,
Growing in "The land of morning calm."

Freedom is like a river named Han,
Unstoppable!

Freedom means flying the Taegeukgi.
Outside and high!

Freedom is Lively,
Freedom is President Moon Jae-in
President of South Korea,

Freedom is vibrant!
Freedom is festivals,

Freedom is unhindered!
Freedom is a Buddhist monk,
Everland!,

Freedom is unbound!
Freedom is tasty Kimchi,
Deoksugung Palace!

Freedom is lively parties,
Freedom is dancing,
The greatest Palaces of Seoul!

Freedom is treasured!

Freedom is a green bottle,
Soju!

Freedom is Arirang!
Korea's song,
A gift to the world from Korea,

Freedom is Queen Min; Still remembered,
Resting under a cherry blossom tree,

Freedom is Seoul!
A wonder to be seen on the Han River!

Freedom is luminous,
Busan Nightlife,
Changdeokgung Palace!

Freedom is unchained!
Freedom is sports,
Jeju-do!

Freedom is escape!
Freedom is honor!
Battle of Inchon!

Freedom is rising in the sky,
One of the most dynamic cities,
Seoul!

Freedom is no longer
Imprisoned,
Freedom is camping,

Freedom is priceless!
Freedom is one's honor!
Deoksugung Palace!

Freedom is treasured!
Freedom is the miracle,
Seoul!

Freedom is food,
Freedom is Kimchi,

Freedom is hopeful,
Freedom is Yu Gwan-sun!
Long live Korean independence!

Freedom is a Buddhist monk writing,
Freedom is thinking about your dreams,
Not looking behind your back!

Freedom is a child going to school,
Freedom is ultra-modern,
Seoul!

Freedom is escape!
Freedom is music,
K-POP!

Freedom is Arirang playing,
Freedom is essential,
White Day!

Freedom, people, shining in the sun,
Freedom is loved,
Yuna Kim!

Freedom is essential,
Freedom is "The March 1st Movement",
Yu Gwan-sun!

Freedom is shopping,
Freedom is walking our dogs,

Freedom is writing what you think,
Freedom is Sejong the Great!,
Hangul!

Freedom is bringing your dreams into the world,
Freedom is poetry,
Yun ****-ju!

Freedom is traditions,
Freedom is wearing Hanbok.

Freedom is being empowered!

Freedom is.
Freedom is.
Freedom is.

A United Korea!!!

Copyright © 2013 - 2017 Ronald J Chapman All Rights Reserved.
Learn Korean Holidays - National Liberation Day
with English Subtitles
http://youtu.be/Qdvo6ez4VlU
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
I followed Delvos down the trail until we could see the mouth of the mine. The life and energy of the surrounding birches and sentential pines came to a still and then died as we left the trees shelter behind and walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelled of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped in its cage.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” I pulled my mousey hair up into a tight ponytail. “I’ve experienced far more fatal feats than following a canary in a cave.”
He rolled his eyes. “Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling some Louis Armstrong song.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. I lost track of his lantern completely. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I had done in Peru. The mine was quiet and cold. I wiped my clammy, calloused hands on my trail pants and took a depth breath.

In through the nose. Out through the mouth. This is nothing. I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Behind me I could hear the wind cooing at the mouth of the mine.
Taunting? No. Reminding me to go forward. Into the darkness.
I shifted my Nikon camera off my shoulder and raised the viewfinder to my eyes, sliding the lens cap into my vest pocket. This routine motion, by now, had become as fluid as walking. I stared readily through the dark black square until I saw reflections from the little red light on top that blinked, telling me the flash was charged. I snapped my finger down and white light filled the void in front of me. Then heavy dark returned. I blinked my eyes attempting to rid the memories of the flash etched, red, onto my retina. I clicked my short fingernails through buttons until the photo I took filled the camera screen. I learned early on that having short fingernails meant more precise control with the camera buttons. I zoomed in on the picture and scrolled to get my bearings of exactly what lay ahead in the narrow mine passageway. As I scrolled to the right I saw Delvos’ boot poking around the tunnel that forked to the left.
Gottcha.
I packed up the camera, licked my drying lips, and stepped confidently into the darkness.

When I first got the assignment in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack had said as he handed me the manila case envelope. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”
I opened the envelope and read the assignment details in the comfort of my old pajamas back at my apartment later that night.
John Delvos has lived in rural Vermont his entire life. His family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When “the accident” happened the whole town shut down and the mines never reopened. . There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly before Delvos and his father retreated into the Vermont woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He currently ships them to other mining towns across the country. The question of the inhumanity of breeding canaries for the sole purpose of dying in the mines so humans don’t has always been controversial. Find out Delvos’ story and opinions on the matter. Good luck, Lila.
I sighed, accepting my dull assignment and slipped into an apathetic sleep.


After stumbling through the passageway while keeping one hand on the wall to the left, I found the tunnel the picture had revealed Delvos to be luring in. Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me
“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers?” He relit the oily lantern and picked back up the canary cage. “Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.”. He turned his back without another word. I followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” then hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western-themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good night’s sleep and defeat this town’s fear of John Delvos the following day.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag, pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC, and stepped out onto the dirt in front of my motel door and lit up. The stars above stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except its sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of Vermont night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the star’s dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off. “I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Rivers, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Rivers. Are you new to town?” He traced his fingers over a thick, graying mustache as he stared at me.
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
Ian smiled awkwardly, shivered, then began to fumble with his thick jacket’s zipper. I looked up at the night sky and watched the stars as they tiptoed their tiny circles in the pregnant silence. Then, they dimmed in the flick of a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light-colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“So, Delvos, eh?” He puffed out a cloud of leather smelling smoke toward the stars. “What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the star’s dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Rivers. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the dead pine needles beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed. “See that yellow notch?” he asked. Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.
“You don’t have to.” He knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree. “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The star’s dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary’s wings and Delvos stopped. “This is a good place to break our fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We had left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky that morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Rivers.”
Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased. “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers. I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with wings slashing yellow brushes and cawing songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so and I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the bird’s little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was “Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
We sat in silence and I found myself watching the canary flit about in its cage, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?”
He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast. “Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Rivers, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested.”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the editors for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Rivers.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Rivers. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up. The mine was dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I had sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.  
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelled of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The canary was fluttering its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminatin
Terry O'Leary Jul 2015
The dawn unfolds beyond my fractured windowpane
and breezes tease while drapes, like serpents, slip aside
exposing worlds that race and run aground, insane,
displaying scenes obscene that savants strive to mask and hide.

Outside, the streets are stark (last night they seemed so cruel
when demons danced as lanterns 'lumed the lynching tree -
its shadow shuddered, lurking in my vestibule -
within the night, I sense these things I sometimes cannot see).

Perdu in darkened doorways (those which watch the ones that weep)
men hide their shame in crevices in search of cloaked relief.
The ladies of the evening leave (their time to sleep!)
the alleyways, retaining bitter tastes of untold grief.

Soon drifters (distraught dregs that stray from street to street)
abandon benches, squat on curbstones some call home,
appeal to strangers for a coin or simple bite to eat -
refused… gaze down… left empty-handed in the morning gloam.

Observe with me, beyond my fractured windowpane,
the boy with crooked smile - the one who's seen the  beast -
with tears, he stoops and clasps the cross while wiping off the stain -
the abbey door along the lane conceals a pious priest.

While at the mall, Mike sees some cigs, and stealth'ly steals a pack;
the Man, observing, thinks ‘Hey Boy, this caper calls for blood’,
takes aim, then shoots the fated stripling eight times in the back.
Come, mourn for Mike and brother Justice, facedown in the mud.

Fatigued and bored, some kids harass the alley now -
to pass the time, Joe smokes a joint and Lizzy snorts a line;
computer games (which quake with doom) can help somehow,
so Eric plays with Dylan on the road to Columbine.

The shanty towns have hunkered down as if in mortal sport
while broken bodies' shattered bones repose supine,
and mamas (now bereft of child) in anguished pain contort,
their eyes drip drops of wrath which wither on a twisted vine.

Now Mr Baxter, private bankster (cruising down the road,
pursuing profit pushers, waving magic mushroom wands),
adores addiction to the bailout (coffers overflowed)
and jests with all the junkies, while he's dealing with the bonds.

Marauders man the marketplace (with billions guaranteed)  
while kids with swollen bellies beg neath hollow sunken eyes,
and (cut to naught) the down-and-out (like trodden beet roots) bleed.
Life's carousel invites us all, though few can ring the prize.

A washerwoman, timeworn, totters from the tram -
she shuffles to her hovel on a lonesome distant hill,
despondent, shuts the shutters, downs her final dram -
a magpie quickly picks at crumbs forsaken on the sill.

Jihadist and Crusader warders faithfully guard the gates,
behead impious infidels, else burn them at the stake
(yes, God incites each side for good, the other side He hates),
with saintly satisfaction gained provoking pagan ache.

The watchers pry behind our fractured windowpanes
inspect us all, tear down the walls of privacy
controlling every point of view opinion entertains,
forbidding thoughts one mustn't think, with which they don’t agree.

Come, cast a furtive glance… there's something in the far…
from towns to dunes in deserts dry, the welkin belches sudden death
by dint of soulless drones that stalk beneath a straying star
erasing life in random ways in freedom’s final breath.

But closer lies an island, where the keepers keep the wards.
No sense, no charges nor defense - a verdict? Yes! … grotesque -
the guiltless gush confessions, born and bred on waterboards.
Impartial trials? A travesty instead, indeed quite Kafkaesque.

Now dusk draws near beyond my fractured windowpane
while mankind drowns like burnt-out suns in fading lurid light;
and scarlet clots of grim deceit and ebon beads of bane
flow, deified, within the rotting corpse of human night.
SG Holter May 2014
Spring sunrise at four am.
Ine is what the farmers call
That green, transparent film
Of newborn grain
On freshly sown fields.
Low and red in
Rising, Father Sun includes
Little Brother Moon
In his rays of raging
Selflessness.

Top branch perched,
In colourless contrast
To it all, Magpie surveys
The spectacle
And only
Does just
That.
Claire Waters Oct 2012
1.

you kiss my hand
i suppose to myself
that you are doing that
for the cinema novelty

2.

you look around my room
“you live in this little world
such a mistake you’ve made
to let me in”

3.

i take that as a threat
i sleep with my most prized possessions
under my pillow that night
like a magpie

4.

i don’t know why i’m uncomfortable
it is partially your fault but also
it is not your fault

5.

i can’t find this flattering because
you don’t see me as a person
just a vision of what
you wish i was

6.

“can i sleep on your floor?”
you ask the most vulnerable question
i cannot look you in the eye
when i say
“no
i prefer to sleep alone”

7.

i am sorry
i am all smoke and mirrors
cigarettes and my reflection
the sun tastes my skin
and now i’m sharing his burning
raining magpie madness,
   darkly drenching the
       marrow of vital spirit,
thieving in night's anticipation
clawing eye's conscious thunder,
     lashing 'pon tainted yearnings
plucking rendered heartstrings
       engaged of looming silences,
  submerged in doused inequity
      of blackened skies ambiguity
Vicki Kralapp Oct 2018
From my earliest remembrance,
to this hour I have maintained,
I've never been contented
with a life of the mundane.

I’ve sought to spend each day in life
in search of curious things,
like art and education,
and the richness that they bring.

I hope to write more poetry
and share my verse in print,
and with my use of written word,
paint art with shades and tints.

I’ve been to many distant lands,
but yet my heart implores,
I seek out farther mysteries,
our planet has in store.

But now my body slows me down,
like most as we grow old,
and though I try, oft I fall short,
of plans I can control.

So, to keep myself companion,
while I will myself to heal,
I’ve formed all my ambitions,
which one day I plan to reach.

Since I was just a little child
I dreamt of life abroad,
in Kenya with the Maasai tribe,
I’ve always been enthralled.

I've fancied a safari,
where the famous five are found,
a land where great giraffes stand tall,
against the setting sun.

But, it is the Land Down Under,
that is first among my plans,
and one day soon I’ll see the coast,
of Sydney once again.

My friends will come to greet me,
though a lifetime I’ve been gone,
and united we’ll share memories,
for the present and beyond.

I’ll go for walks amidst the bush,
and hear the magpie’s tunes,
I’ll stroll beside the ghostly gums;
with nature grow attuned.

I’ll tour along the Southern Coast,
drive past Apostles tall,
and see the sites of Melbourne fair,
with all its cultured draw.

Then off to Kiwi’s northern isle,
with nature’s beauty rare,
fulfilling dreams so long desired,
to glimpse the Mauri’s there.

Waitomo, with its glow worm caves,
and Rotorua’s pools,
with geysers, Eco thermal parks,
and Bay of Islands too.

As I make my way back to the states,
I’ll stop along the way,
to visit Fiji’s turquoise coast,
and snorkel time away.

I’ll learn about the culture,
and partake of Fiji’s fare,
and when I go, I hope to leave,
a part of my heart there.

The coast of California,
on my list of sites to see;
from the Wharf in San Francisco,
to the vineyards by the sea.

I dream of redwoods sure and tall:
the parks and smell of pines,
and stand amid the ancient firs,
lest they pass for all of time.

I plan to visit Florence,
where master artists roamed;
the heart of Tuscan Renaissance,
where da Vinci made his home.

I hope to cruise Amalfi’s coast,
with others at the helm,
to view the brilliance of the sights,
and others in the realm.

While in the South of Italy,
I’ll cross the briny foam,
and walk the hills in Athens,
where ancient Grecians roamed.

I dream of Amazonia,
where man has not destroyed,
and natives live within the wild,
with harmony employed.

The last one on my bucket list,
is one I’d left undone,
when first I made my maiden trip,
and I was twenty-one.

I’d hoped to see the Emerald Isle,
and England’s castles old,
Duke’s palaces and British Tate,
are marvels to behold.

I’ll drive the ring of Kerry,
and the magic Isle of Skye,
to see its Fairy Pools of hues,
and Highland’s brilliance sights.

The lush green grass of Glen Coe,
the Scottish hills await,
would be a lifelong dream fulfilled
when all my trials abate.

With this, my final dream fulfilled,
I see my list complete,
full circle with this Commonwealth,
my restless feet at peace.

But ‘til that time when I am healed,
and I can travel far,
I’ll dream of lands beyond my reach,
and one day touch the stars.
All poems are copy written and sole property of Vicki Kralapp.
David Jul 2015
Barely keeping it together.
just trying to stay sane.
Remembering,
forgetting,
regretting;
and no one to blame:
Except for myself,
for all the days
wasted in dreams,
the unread books that lay,
lonely, on the shelf,
among the unfinished drawings
and forgotten magazines.
I am freaking out,
losing it,
falling apart and tearing
at the seams.

But then some new shiny thing passes by,
catching my eye
like a magpie,
and I am distracted
once again;
my mind, soothed.
A temporary bandage
hiding the pain.
And thank God for the rain
that comes and washes away all the filth.
The mess that just piles back up again, anyway
But thank God for that short-lived relief.
Even if only temporary;
and if you think it's foolish to cherish
that which is temporary,
just take a stroll through any cemetery.
And tell me something that doesn't die.
In the meantime, goodnight,
godspeed
and goodbye.
Itsy bitsy spider
Crawled into rabbits brain
Then came the murders
They made bunny go insane
Out came his tiger
To take away the pain
But the itsy bitsy spider
Will take control again.

Itsy bitsy magpie
Pulled bunny down to see
Though the pills he took were great,
he’d never quite be free.
Bunny tried with all his might
to scare magpie away
but the magpie ushered him to the mirror
and whispered “ look, You’re me!”





itsy bitsy bunny
was tired of his game
he wrestled with the magpie night and day
but never felt okay.
Finally bunny had had enough
And threw his hope away
His tiger took him by the wrist and mumbled.
Just one more day.
Explanation:
Everyone knows the story; it’s about a man who wanted to tell stories to the younger people of this world. He didn’t expect to hear the story’s villain escape and enter into his brain. He didn’t think the job he was offered would actually **** people, but James Moriarty did, no matter what name you gave him, he would still be the murderer that lived inside Richard Brook’s brain. One thing made Bunny’s life a little bit better, James hired a trained assassin named Sebastian Moran, but he was known to Richard as Tiger. Tiger played with Richard and made the switch overs a little less painful. He would look after his bunny, work for the spider and live day to day.

Itsy bitsy spider
Crawled up the water spout
Down came the rain
That wiped poor spidey out
Out came the sun shine
That dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider
Crawled up the spout again.
John Summers Jun 2015
a magpie perches
on the highest branch
tail flicked wind rocked
in a winter dance

across a field
frozen sharp as bark
sheep take painful
stumbled paths

and fleece
and snow
grey grime against the feathers' glow
SG Holter Aug 2015
He's smaller than the others;
***** his wings harder to
Hold his weight.

I sit on my girlfriend's balcony
With a Sunday sunrise beer at
8am

And listen to him flexing
His vocal cords.
I smile at the

Immature imitations of barks
And sparrows. No, dude.
That's not Magpie.

Try again.
He tries again.
Never before was black and
White so colourful.
Donna Apr 2019
Sweet magpie on roof
Embracing life’s lovely sky
Forever smiling
Wonderful birds one of my favourites , see magpies everyday , there nature’s loviest birds :)
Francis Duggan Apr 2010
In the blue sky just a few specks of gray
In the evening of a beautiful day
Though last night it rained and more rain on the way
And that more rain is needed 'twould be fair to say
On a gum tree in the park the white backed magpie sing
He sings all year round from the Summer to Spring
But in late Winter and Spring he even sings at night
So nice to hear him piping in the moonlight
Spring it is with us and Summer is near
And beautiful weather for the time of year
Such beauty the poets and the artists inspire
Of talking of Nature could one ever tire
Her green of September Mother Nature wear
And the perfumes of blossoms in the evening air.
SG Holter Jul 2014
Grandfather. Toddler in hand; walking his
Utmost treasure through the woods he walked

In his distant -otherworldly- childhood. He
Answers young questions on varying topics

With the weight of a thousand teachers.
The piece of quartz on that rock were the tears

The magpie cried when finding her nest and
Eggs in pieces, hit by that stone with the scent

Of laughing manlings still on it.
(First to knock it down wins!)

She cried. And Father Sun froze the tears that
Fell on the little weapon. A memorial.

Now put it back where you found it, boy.
All is where it is for a reason.
~
It took thirty years.
To let go.

Thirty
Years.

It was a good
Walk.
there  was a little magpie a little thief was he
he came in to my garden and landed on my tree
waiting for his chance for something he could rob
then on to my table the magpie he did bob.

he took my silver spoon for stirring up my tea
held it in his beak then magpie he did flee
magpie he returned looking for some more
so he could steel again and in the sky would soar.

this went on a while so i put my things away
now i have never seen him to this very day
Paddy Martin Nov 2010
The boy sat beneath the grey gum,
listening to the magpie crooning,
somewhere far above his head.
He watched as the figure approached,
an old man stumbling down a dirt track.
"Yer back than." said the boy, standing.
"Yeah." Replied the man, "I'm back."
The boy sat down again "Yer staying?"
"I should never have left you,
I realise that now." The man replied.

"Was it fun where you went?" asked the boy,
"No, it was miserable." said the man,
"It could never be fun without you.
Have you been to the tree house lately?"
"Not since you left," said the boy.
"I've just been sitting here waiting,
for you to take me to the carnival,
where we could eat candy floss
and hot dogs to our bellies ached."

"I should have taken you with me,
I've missed the carnivals and candy floss."
The man said his eyes filling with tears.
"Is the tyre still hanging over the water hole?"
"Of cause it is," said the boy, "you want to go there?"
"Oh yes!" Cried the man "I want to go there.
More than anything I want to go there!"
The boy stood up and took his hand,
and together they walked across the pond.

03/03/2010
Hannah Marr Apr 2019
Today the magpie cried 'salvation'
As I woke to tangled sheets
Binding bare, shaking legs.
My bed released me hesitantly,
Reluctant to entrust me to the day's devices.
Stormclouds buzz behind grey eyes
That vacantly watch steam rise in wisps
From a cup clutched in trembling hands.
Marshal the troupes,
Pen, paper, caffeine fix in hand,
An orderly retreat into the inner sanctum.
Today the magpie cried in dawn light.
I rolled over and went back to sleep.

h.f.m.
kattrinsart Feb 2015
I look out my window
Only to see
A Mr Magpie
Staring at me

'Good morning' I do say
'and where is your wife'
'She has left me
and no longer has a life'

'You know that we are only lucky
If you see two or more
But I am trapped
alone in this war'

'And now I will remain
A singular one
My luck has run out
My hell has begun'
Ana Kruscic Oct 2012
It's been a lonely morning, but perhaps, I was in need of one.
After staring at shaded yellow walls, at every hour of the night,
and feeling anger sharpen to some light,
At 7 a.m, I finally fell fast asleep,
my walls were slowly becoming bright.

I woke up 4 hours later to the opening of a door, one that was expected for long ago.
The sides of my head were biting my brain, and my teeth on lip bites gave way for pain,
I got up and got dressed, no coffee, no rest, I went for a walk, in need of a talk,
but sat in a park sipping black alone, and watched the white on which sun softly shone,
and the air slightly breezing, this bone of mine freezing,
a dog interrupting, I headed down the lonely street,
staring at my lonely slow feet,
counting my numerous steps,
and seeing a nest?

I saw a beautiful bird in a tree, and it's true a lot of memories came back to me.
It hoarsely cawed and gave me attention, another passer-by, just one of the Menschen.
I stood and watched its desired Display, He stood on a roof and gave flight a nay.

Tucked its wings in for the very last second, he dropped beak-first
and I have to admit, I was a little afraid.
When cement was an inch away, his black wings rose, and extended from his small body
the wind pulled him back, his head prostrated backwards, his eyes met my own
and he cawed.

The three of us we belonged to each other, with wordless agreement that said She, the Mother.
"Have trust in me, you will fly and and you will fall, this time is not yours,
However, this here, this is your call. I know it moves slow, and it gives you a shudder, but have trust in me, I am your Mother."

I ignored Her words, and descended the road,
felt the earth flicker, a disrupted candle-
The wind, was to blame for its cruel games.
A door opened after many steps,
the flights were long, and the wind did not help.
I opened my window, gave breath to the tree,
and She crept in,
She humored me,
"One day your shivering bones, will be under those stones, and that bowl will be full with your fleshy Müll.
You'll feel the stillness, see the Flicker for you, this cement all ready and new, awaiting your beak, hopes for your red leak."
"It'll be me with your breath, and your longing thirst, but first,"
She gave me her hand, and I saw wrinkles of ages,
and so that I might repay, or perhaps even Replay
I gave her my hand and said,
"Lead the way."

— The End —