by Jonathan Vold

Monday, December 5

Tales, Part II

The hoopoe tells of an arduous flight through seven valleys
With tales of trials along the way, for every bird a tale:

Tale of the nightingale in love with love, the thorniest rose;
Tale of the peacock who clings to the trappings of paradise;

Tale of the parrot who seeks its eternal existence here;
Tale of the duck looking in ponds for purity to appear;

Tale of the homa, shadow-slave to the vanity of kings;
Tale of the falcon, blinded by the status its master brings;

Tale of the heron in a lonely place, gazing at the sea;
Tale of the owl seeking treasure, finding anxiety;

Tale of the sparrow of humility and hypocrisy;
Tale of the phoenix caught in a cycle, ever born to die;

Tale of the partridge who lives for love of gems that never move;
Tale of a lovebird chained forever to superficial love;

Tale after tale, revealing how through every foibled fable
We see ourselves burn in the conflagration of thirty birds.

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