“Suddenly for no earthly reason I felt immensely sorry for [her] and longed to say something real, something with wings and a heart, but the birds I wanted settled on my shoulders and head only later when I was alone and not in need of words.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov, from The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

Zhu Naizheng Homing, nd ink on paper
“Homing” (nd, ink on paper)
by Zhu Naizheng

                   

Continuing on a theme: Wings aloft

From Section V of “La Brière of Saint-Nazaire”

It turns out, what we thought of as the soul
is mostly sound;
not song, but like a memory of birds
or running water,
the churn of a paddle, the flicker and dip
of an oar,
narrow boats butting the land
on the quiet tethers,

so death will be a slower, surer fade
than any we imagine;
no mere extinction, like the evening’s hush
before the ducks come, dipping to the marsh
in threes and fours, to find the darker ground,
no moment’s pause, but absolute decay
where absence is a form
of generation.

~ John Burnside

                   

Music by Lee DeWyze, “Blackbird’s Song”