Poem for Poetry Thursday

Oh hell. This feels like a death.

That being said, the debt of thanks I owe to Liz and Dana and the Poetry Thursday community cannot be repaid. I’ve posted more than 70 poems because of Poetry Thursday—more that I had written in the 10 years prior to 2006. I managed to complete a manuscript and co-found a literary reading series. I’ve developed relationships beyond the computer screen—all because of this deep, abiding love of poetry. All because Liz and Dana said that poetry matters.

Thank you, ladies. Thank you.

Because this feeling of community is so important, I am working with Dana, Jim, and Melissa to bring something new and innovative to the blogosphere. Our goal is to have it up and running next week. In the meantime, here’s my last poem for Poetry Thursday. It’s an oldie but one that is close to my heart. I am honored to share it with you on Poetry Thursday.


High above the treetops’ skeleton arms and bare fingertips,
large, white birds soar and glide in conversation with the air.

Are they angels flying in the formation of a cross,
their wings extended and exposed under the afternoon sky?

You and I have chosen a sullen life. We rattle our cages,
bite the bell, every feather of our fiery wings clipped.

As the curtains grow pale, we look through layers of light
while something in the world flies away from us.


I like the contrast between the birds having conversations with the air and our sullen lives below. So insightful too.

I look forward to the unveiling of the new poetry project.
wendy said…
the whole is great....but bite the bell...is perfection.

i don't know why I always far in love with one phrase...

but i'd pick that one..and take it to feather my nest....anyday!
polka dot witch said…

and perfect for the occasion.

i am having trouble posting my comment at PT but it's up!
"We rattle our cages,
bite the bell, every feather of our fiery wings clipped."

I can relate to it so much.
lisrobbe said…
Very deep! I love the imagery and contrasts you made.
Can't wait to see what you guys have in store for the next project.
I love how you leave this poem...such a strong ending (appropriate, given the day--right?). I am so glad to have found your writing through Poetry Thursday and am curious about what you're all cooking up next!
This just feels like such a perfect poem to go with how we are all feeling today... thanks, January, for putting it into words so well.
I am so looking forward to what's coming up! Thanks!
tumblewords said…
I love the contrast in this and the truth it carries.

The loss of this poetry site is sad but the new poetry site brings excitement!
GreenishLady said…
mmm... the 'sullen life' catches my eye for some reason. The mood of the poem really does fit the day.

I, too, am so looking forward to seeing what the new venture is. And Thanks for putting your energy into it.
What a beautiful tribute to Dana and Liz and Poetry Thursday. I am really anxious to see what you have up your sleeve...

Loved the poem. As I always do! Hope you are well rested and inspired!
January said…
Thanks Pepek, and thanks everyone for the kind words.
Deb R said…
That's a perfect poem for this feeling of watching PT disappear.
odessa said…
i absolutely LOVE this poem! you have such a way with words. for some reason, i'm drawn to this line: "we look through layers of light". so melancholy.

can't wait to see what the new project is.
...deb said…
I'm with Wendy, "bite the bell" caught at my throat. I could see and feel it, smell the need to change the paper at the bottom of the cage. Perfect.

And thanks for going forward with B*PP. I can hardly wait. It has kept me from being completely sad about PT.
Rethabile said…
Fine poem. Well done.
Dear poetesse, I felt I should have informed you, too, that your good name along with mention of your poem 'Saturn's Child' was made by me to appear, in a truthful context, in my latest poem 'New Births Blooming Divine After Sad Notes Of Demise' submitted today.

Thanks a lot, with best wishes
Erhard H.J. Lang

P.s.: the poem in which you and your interesting are mentioned may be found at

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