Triassic atonal
Katherine Holmes

The misanthropy begins to melt.
One bird sings
creaking like a sled
in the hard uphill of March.

Bergs of snow have moved uphill to the clouds
leaving a world stumpy and Triassic as disquietude.

A cry new as an Adam-pterosaur is flung
like a mountain climber's dragline.

Some songbirds swirl notes from their cleffed membranes.
Others echo the flagged triads of an elder with coital experience.

Or they flounder and flirt
yawning and young
prophetic as nubby branches.

One bird stuck with life starts up and evaporates
sound from the floe of a primordial father.

A gate croons open in me
down the backlawns of childhood
where leaves slurred like a comet.

Sparrow robin wren finch nuthatch warbler
without melody or mentor the 440 tuning bird

searching in the atonal of today
and the atonal of the metal gate
grating under the earth.

Is there anyone else out there?

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