bonfire bird

life’s flame is in the feathers of this bird
and I’m not calling the fire brigade
—life burns life

but this is a particular bird
whose flame is mostly multitudinous red
with nuanced high-frequency colorwheels thrown in
and well-played purple bass notes in its wings

—but “multitudinous” hardly tells the tale
of this bird’s lush bonfire,
a bird flown on wings of algorithms
at keystrokes of a friend
to land blazing on my screen and sit
—this birdblaze with redgold beak
sharper than human wit

what do you say when a thing like this comes to light,
it beats the visions of acid? lame.

how to describe the luxury of this bird,
to see it —the extravagant color
it seems some mind has wrought,
out on a limb

how to say it
how to paint it
how to hold it in
mind’s eye?



Jim Culleny

I thank my friend, Jack Braudis, for introducing me to this wonder.

Photo of a Rufous-Backed Kingfisher (Ceyx rufidorsa) in Malaysia