Poetry from Beverly Burch

Photo: Ilkka Kärkkäinen

Incantation to Avian Followers

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.
— Chinese proverb

A halo of feathers and chorusing.
Such a twitter, such love songs.

Wings beating wildly,
devotion trembles in the air.

Stupid warblers, a little red sprig
is my heart. Angel-squawkers.

Fledgling disciples. They brush
my cheek, tender as flies.

Try to nest in my hair. Hooded
and orange-crowned. White

throated butter butts scramble
up my leg, bay-breasted, black

capped, even an old gray
comes with praise. Bird brains,

dumb clucks. Groom me with song.
Maybe the green will grow.

.

.

Beverly Burch’s third poetry collection, Latter Days of Eve, won the John Ciardi Poetry Prize. Her first, Sweet to Burn, won a Lambda Literary Award and the Gival Poetry Prize. Her second, How a Mirage Works, was a finalist for the Audre Lorde Award. Poetry and fiction appear in Denver Quarterly, New England Review, Willow Springs, Salamander, Tinderbox, Mudlark, and Poetry Northwest.

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