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Birdseed

by Edward Lense

Last night I planted birdseed in my garden by mistake, and now the flowers are getting ready to fly away. As I look over the garden the air seems full of red, gold and blue forms that hover over the green stalks like hummingbirds, and the plants sway and shiver as if nudged by a wind, but there is no wind. I think it may be the downdraft from their wings. The flowers shimmer as if they were whirling around and around without moving and showing me every side and streak of their plumage. They gleam like eyes in a bright light.

Now they are moving without seeming to, gliding from stem to stem, changing invisibly from form to form, blending into each other and scattering into new shapes. They fill up the air over the garden as they swarm. They are all around me. They seem to be mocking me with their speed, their brilliance, showing off to make me feel drab. Of course they might also be grateful to me for planting them, and are thanking me as they leave. In any case, they are free of me now. I’ve done everything I can. I’m still part of the earth, and now the air is their soil.

 

Edward Lense goes to school in Columbus, Ohio. (Spring 1975)


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