half life of a city bird

I lived high up in a city beech tree in Boston I inherited from my parents. Mom was a red and dad was a black bird. I displayed her colors in tufts, and they say my song pitched like his. I carried her tonality. I wanted better for myself but i was scared. The cars and trucks made my home shiver; the city made me feel like mine was the only tree. The pollution and city rats were dangerous, and worms were scarce. I was scared of change and scared not to change, flipping and ducking my head in my chest. I left early one morning when car alarms would not stop chirping. I was sure I was a goner. I flapped my wings and flew for several suns and moons on end. I knew not where to. Or for. The currents, unusual to a little bird like me. I broke and fell, rose and tumbled, and slanted across the sky. Nights I huddled helpless and cold in a rain gutter, dreaming. When I could go no farther, I found a hollow in a little birdhouse. Abandoned! What luck! and a fertile ground below. My nest I created of all the diverse fabrics under the sky, in the moonlight, fortified with lead paint chips while humans slept. If I may say, I was already a miracle when I learned to transcribe letters dipping my beak in berries. I wanted to recount and record my travels and knew no other recourse. My beak has not the strength of the woodpecker, and our songs are taken by the wind, so soon they evaporate. I found words the humans wrote on bits of paper I made my nest with.
I copied the many slender forms by my beak with the berry, and learned which forms coupled off with others, and the when and how of it all. I already knew why. I was already a miracle when I discovered your tongue. Now half my life story has been told and I can rest with. It’s a lot for a little bird like me…for a little bird like me it is a lot.
— listen to KatYa read her work @ a local Sacramento Writer’s Group @ http://writersontheair.com/ —

typewriter.five

Soon you’re sitting in some chair
with your preponderance your
pool of feeling untranslated

unreckoned with…

now you got a Royal. glints
black beneath a gunmetal sky found its way
through the windows

stands there stern
with her keys
won’t make a sound until
you touch her

you cannot fight her. she’s the ocean

you cannot fight her. she’s the ocean

by KatYa

i went to the ocean and crashed into a giant wave; it was like a slate wall, transparent green. i had only a white undershirt on when we collided and black boyshorts underneath, and the wave did not hurt but it slapped and broke into many liquid particles which could not be traced but pulled my hair down and stuck to my face and neck which felt pretty good, and beneath me everything was undulating with a calling, sucking motion, calling me, fizzing, and i was not scared though i was unlike the giant scaly bodies underwater, deeper out; i knew she would not hurt anyone unless they fought back, you cannot fight her she’s the ocean. i did not break in my black and whites, in the rainy day greens and blues of the undertow, i just stayed together and let the ocean cry and pull me, and the salt to dry in the bubbling nest of spit and foam. i went with the ocean and i guess i disappeared, i mean the earth did not know me, nobody looked for me, or if they did they did not find me, but someone missed me, somewhere, i just know it. i could feel them and saw them in my routine kelp readings thereafter. Mostly it was my family, so far away but still caring and loving me a lot, maybe more than i would know, the otters suggested, teaching me the art of cracking mussels. i lay my head on a current, listening to the ocean, and traveled to new lands never before known, in a sea bubbling like soda, the many colors peeking up off the crests of the waves crashing inward far from us on the inside looking back to the shore, and the earth now was scary, dropping off of the level, and the sky quite unfeeling, unhelpful at best, but we didn’t care… and i slept peacefully, peacefully, there.

august walks in

July left the dance with a sway and a sigh, drunk off the summer sun high, the fan and her shoulder blades evenly matched as the crickets kept time safe beneath the wing. August came in hot, on fire, with something to prove… boy, did he know how to move.