by Lesley-Anne Evans

Maybe it is time again
to watch the sky for songbirds
who will navigate 

the dark, gather over
dawn’s grain-fields
light in my backyard Katsura

just as the buds
are breaking me open. They know
this garden, this tree

they have been here before.
They come and go
without the terror

of forgetting. Each time
I feel their arrival
like a revelation, like severing

marrow from bone. I watch
them brood over shells
impervious to their weight.

I listen as young emerge
With relentless questions.
Maybe I am waiting for this

impossibility heard
half-heard, in the stillness
between two waves of the sea.

Every phrase and every sentence
is an end and a beginning.
Like a blind man’s first glimpse

of a tree; all his longings absolved
in green consolation, what is not
contained in a statement of fact.

Satellite tracking programs
continental flyways, cloud
mapping, each accounting of loss.

Veery, House Wren, Hermit 
Thrush flocks, half-flocks 
circle in the silence between

dead stars and urban lights.
Every wing lift and every thrust
is a beginning and an end.

Imagine them dropping
like soft bombs over roof tops
highways, rivers, and gardens

muscle memory fading
in their wings, and the terrible
beauty they hurdle toward.

Note: Lines in italics are from “Little Gidding”, the last poem of T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”.

Bonus Reading

This Poem Appears In


Volume 27, Number 1 – March 2021



Lesley-Anne Evans belongs to Feeny Wood, four acres of woodland in British Columbia, Canada, where nature, creative practice, and contemplative spirituality save her life every day. She is published and won the British Columbia Federation of Writers’ 2019 Literary Prize. Lesley-Anne receives the gift of spiritual direction. Learn more at


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