flame is in the feathers of this bird
but I’m not calling the fire brigade
—life burns life
though this is a particular bird
whose flame is multitudinous red
in flamboyant nuance—
high-frequency colorwheels thrown in
and well-played purple notes of a bass line
in its wings
—but “multitudinous” fails to tell the tale
of this bonfire bird,
a bird blown by algorithmic winds
from the keyboard of a friend
lands blazing on my screen and sits
—this birdblaze with redgold beak
sharper than human wit
what do you say when a thing like this comes to light,
that exceeds sunshine acid visions?
makes them lame
how to state the spectral luxury of this bird,
to see it, out on a limb, its satiating color
which some pure mind has wrought?
I could say, “Rufous-Backed Kingfisher”
or “Ceyx rufidorsa”
but how to really say it?
how to paint it?
how to see it?
how to hold it in mind’s eye?
don’t try, begin
I thank my friend, Jack Braudis, for introducing me to this wonder.
Photo of a Rufous-Backed Kingfisher (Ceyx rufidorsa) in Malaysia