The Starlings

This entry is part 25 of 38 in the series Bridge to Nowhere: poems at mid-life

Today was no longer fall, but fly,
with high winds & a fast
traffic of clouds. Now that
it’s almost still, the birds are making
strange noises in their sleep,
like fragments of car alarms,
& I remember the forest floor startling up
on iridescent wings & streaming
through the branches, a rush
hour crowd, & the dark road
they unfurled across the sky.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

6 Comments


  1. You’ve managed to recast and make so striking, even beautiful, something that typically drives me crazy: the onslaught of the starlings. And this: “Today was no longer fall, but fly, with high winds & a fast traffic of clouds.” A line to savor and memorize. No longer fall, but fly. Ah, one of those lines of yours I sorta kinda wish I had written. I have a new favorite Bonta poem. Thanks, Dave.

    Reply

    1. Hey, I’m glad you liked that! I’m so often unsure of these poems I throw together late at night, under a self-imposed deadline to post something, anything! before midnight. We don’t get icterid flocks up here on the mountain all too often, so haven’t had the luxury of growing tired of them. This poem started out being about grackles, but as more and more urban imagery crept in, I decided they had to be starlings, instead. Poetic licence and all.

      Reply

  2. Satisfying! High winds and (car) alarms before stasis and silence: late autumn is poetry season. I posted McGrath’s Beyond the Red River in the reading rooms this week:

    Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land./My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave./I am happy enough here, where Dakota drifts wild in the universe,/Where the prairie is starting to shake in the surf of the winter dark.

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=177084

    Reply

    1. Oh my god, I love that: Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land. Thanks!

      Reply

  3. This is so beautifully vivid. I love the dark road across the sky.

    Reply

    1. Thanks. I tried all kinds of verbs there, and I’m still not sure I picked the best one.

      Reply

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