Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Mockingbird

April is National Poetry Month. We're a week in and I haven't talked much poetry. I have decided I will use the platform on BillyBlog to share some of my favorite poems.

Calm down all you poetry-haters! I will promise that my selections for the month (at least four, maybe more), will be accessible and enjoyable. I do not wish to do a disservice to poetry and my readers by sharing poems that would not appeal to a broad base of tastes.

I will start with my favorite poem by Charles Bukowski, one of my all-time favorite writers. The poem is called "The Mockingbird," from the collection Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck (1972):

the mockingbird

the mockingbird had been following the cat
all summer
mocking mocking mocking
teasing and cocksure;
the cat crawled under rockers on porches
tail flashing
and said something angry to the mockingbird
which I didn't understand.

yesterday the cat walked calmly up the driveway
with the mockingbird alive in its mouth,
wings fanned, beautiful wings fanned and flopping,
feathers parted like a woman's legs,
and the bird was no longer mocking,
it was asking, it was praying
but the cat
striding down through centuries
would not listen.

I saw it crawl under a yellow car
with the bird
to bargain it to another place.

summer was over.


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