A Thousand Birds in a Tree, by Miranda Stone
A few years back I saw Canadian singer/songwriter Miranda Stone in concert. I really like her songwriting, her voice, her general approach to music. Recently I came across her website. That's where I found the following poem (at her website, click on "Dangerous Writing" for more like this). Anyway, I liked the poem a whole lot and wrote to Miranda for permission to quote in full, which she graciously gave. So here it is:
A Thousand Birds in a Tree
A thousand birds in a tree
do something humans can't do.
They sit there in the leaf-less grove making a big racket
as if the winter tree has gotten tired
of looking so depressed
that it decided it would go out
and party in a brand new sequined dress.
One of those birds makes the secret sign
that every bird knows
and then there's the sound of two thousand wings
all getting up to go,
followed by the miraculous,
the silent freeze into the gliding pose.
They move in airborne one-ness
so few of us individualist humans know.
So I practiced praying like this today.
It's like super graceful tai chi;
this body moving in a language of longing.
I thought I would try this
when I was praying for you
because I saw the birds doing it
and they know how to pray
better than I do.