belly

belly full of life

dear magpie. you told me of the seals and why they come up river all the many miles to Sacramento from the San Francisco Bay sometimes, to feed on spawning salmon in the autumn. i ask you: the spawning fish are dying, are they not? coming up river and back home to die where they were born?

yes, you said.
then why? dear magpie, why not let the salmon swim home and die in peace?

the seals, they are not interested in the carcass of a dying fish. what they do as they swim upstream, diving underwater for several meters at a time, dark and slick, wet coats shining in the sunlight; what they do is find the belly full of life, and sink the teeth in there.

midtown patterns by k

mag.pie

magpie valley summer

i bent down by the river and cupped water to cool my face and hair. the summer was hot as ever and not letting up. you flew down and hopped over to me, where i could admire you in the half-light. little magpie of the valley, what have you seen and where have you been? your tail feathers long and dark, of blue and purple hue, your legs like twigs and feet splayed. cocking your head to one side so i can meet your parrot eye. what can i do for you, brave bird?

you told me of the coyotes and their dens above the levee, and how they walk the rails to get from town to town. you told me of the river and how it made its way. you told me of your kind, long gone from here…and yet, you stay? there is an old man comes from the city to see you, he cracks a beer and lies down with a jacket rolled up under his head. you look after him. he speaks to you in a calm and gentle tone. you climb upon his shoulder where he takes selfies with you. then feeds you shavings of turkey and ham…dear magpie, i am hot and tired and wish to rest for a while. what more do you know? would you share with the likes of me?