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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