The huge orbit of the once great eye, all-seeing and keenly tuned to movement, to color, now vacant and long decayed. The miraculous light-gathering mechanism gone dark. The stabbing, shredding mouth, frozen, bleakly scaled and peeling, the black olfactory pit where the wind borne messages spoken by the lost molecules of living meadows and breathing woods, scenting no longer, transmitting nothing to the shell that was the bird, that was the raptor’s terrifying, beautiful head, the head that soared, the head that scanned ten thousand rolling acres, the head that sped, like a missile, the head that speared and tore the flesh of how many rabbits, gophers, field mice; the head that peered down from all those poles and posts and oak trees high above Sonoma.

 The shrieking, crying, reptilian head, the house of eyes and ancient instinct, with its marks of divine architecture, as close to perfection as any thing could ever be. No thing by hand nor mind’s design might surpass this warrior home of brain and bird, that flew, that flew, that left the earth and roamed the sky at will, on wings, upon wings it perched, the scourge of tiny mammals.

 My Yorick. As you lie upon my palm with no more stories left to tell than what I might imagine, with no name to carry on, nor brethren who remember who you were, or what you did, or to recount those tales of your existence. Only I, the earth-bound man, who found your brittle head amongst the weeds beside the sheep meadow, where no doubt you once hunted and reigned supreme before that fateful night, that dreadful storm, the rain that felled you and swept your broken body down the creek that I just explored, waiting for a vision, looking for a sign, a helper-animal from the ghost land. And here you are.

 Bird. Raptor. Land-bound lizard transformed. O spirit of chance and change, grant that I might follow. To transcend this terrestrial form of wont and wanting, to sprout wings, again, to fly amidst the angels and you among them, my love. To finally rise above my hands and eyes. I want nothing, but you.

o O o


2 thoughts on “Yorick

  1. Very powerful. It gave me the chills. The writing is so voluptuous and generous with the imagery, it’s very evocative prose poetry. Beautiful.

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