Today's poem, 'Chimney Swifts' appeared in Gaspereau Gloriatur: Volume 1 (GP, 2007) an anthology celebrating the first ten years of Gaspereau Press poetry.
from Gaspereau Gloriatur: Volume 1
Fly ash, swifts swirl counter-
clockwise around the chimney
like smoke returning
to the fire. Time’s arrow
is reversed. As we watch their flight
spiral into darkness,
we are growing younger,
back toward our births,
borne to our mother’s womb
on charcoal wings.
First one bravely dips
into the inky stack,
then the others
obediently funnel down
to the mystery of our origins.
A place still, dark, expectant.
Dusk, the show is over,
we file obediently toward our appointment
with sleep, resume our steady movement
no longer suspended by waking wonder.
In the morning, the flock
unwinds like clock springs,
flies up as if the night foreman
had returned, kindled old fires.
The swifts, winged carbon, spiral up,
clockwise at the dawn light,
setting the day in motion,
unfurling the future.
Copyright © Harry Thurston, 2007