Zinovy Vayman – Birds of Color

Zinovy Vayman

Birds of Color

The Abukumagawa River is wide and mighty but ducks seem to cross it
easily.   On the bank of the river a giant colorful poster is erected.   We
see on it swans, herons, geese, kingfisher and other beautiful birds
which names we cannot read or translate from the Japanese.

                      no crows, no sparrows
                      shown on reserve gate poster–
                      they sit on it live

  Jerusalem gate
  pigeon sleeps in a hole
  made by the shellfire

                      morning’s first light
                      on my closed eyelids
                      swift bird shadows

  look at the window!
  dinosaurs!   ah…
  wet pigeons

                                    cold morning
                                    crow sways
                                    by its raucous call

  Fukushima lake
  Siberian swans play

                                    Norwegian dusk
                                    a duck pushes its head deeper
                                    under its wing

  lingering sunset
  on a roof’s edge pigeons sit
  equidistantly                                 whizzing around me
                                                      a hummingbird returns
                windswept street             to the same blossom
                pigeons keep warm
                in a period detail

                                sound barrier booms
                                crows cry and circle the hamlet

  in the pale sky
  W geese formation
  becomes V

                                    a beakful sparrow
                                    runs from sparrows
                                    go, sparrow, go!

  ocean beach
  so many seagulls sit
  all facing the wind

                                    dusk deepens
                                    in the sky pigeons catch
                                    golden sunlight

  road dust:
  chirping sparrows
  take a splashing bath

                                                  caged and mobbed
                                                  two peacocks try to hide
  invisible bird:                             behind each other
  it whistles once “yes”, once “no”
  and once “yes, yes”

almost extinct
Maui black masked bird
in print

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