The Realizational Quality of Birds

Thonk against the house
in my early morning kitchen
curtains still closed against the grey
almost-dawn and in a flash
I thought I was dying
by invasion from the back porch
and a terrible end but it turned out
to be a big bird bashed against
the window so I sighed not exactly
relieved to remember the thonk of tires
and a magnificent grouse
fluttering at the side of a road
looking back in the rear view
and blood unrelenting for days
upon weeks occasioning my visit
to the doctor requiring that drive
and the passing
thought that I was dying
the only explanation for such a torrent
but it turned out
to be a function of change
even good and necessary change
and looking back from a vantage
of what I realized in my kitchen
this morning is actually seventeen years
(which makes me think of rock songs
and girls of seventeen) since I stopped
bleeding and so much else that now
I listen for thonks as a way
of acknowledging change
both good and unkind but all in time
and I know for sure
I am dying

Whew. Inspired by Avant Gardener in the Imaginary Garden


  1. Loved how this poem grows into a shruggable story like a Courtney Barnett song, and the way you portray chaos with such calm. Well done and viva la!

  2. Whoa! That closing line! This poem reads like a torrent itself, the way our thoughts free-associate......just so good.

  3. If decay exceeds growth then dying.
    Thonks and bonks are scary and bring blood to pillows.
    I love to see how the prompter reacts in in writing. You did well.

  4. That’s some title and the opening word made its mark – ‘Thonk’! You reminded me how shocking it is when a bird bashes against a window. What a way to be reminded that we are getting older, on our way to the end – listening for thonks! A great stream of consciousness poem, Marian.

  5. A wonderful poem...so much to love. The last line, is a good one for sure, maybe it is all we know, for sure.

  6. I really liked this poem as it was so honest and real.

  7. Thonks come whether we want them or not, such is life. We plant them in our garden of signs and move toward dying. Love the poem!

  8. I shudder every time I hear that particular thonk.. I hate the misfortune of bird accidents, especially against the invisible barriers of windows. It pains me. But as you so adroitly point out, we're all dying, one way or the other, and life itself is thin as the pane of glass.

  9. The thonk... i really love how you pulled back that terrible memory... like waking up and realize that you are all dying... the only thing we is how it ends.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!