Apotheosis full

I-Apotheosis as an Eagle (for A.D. Hope)

I should like to die the death of a bird,
To end as an arch into something,
A central star
Falling but immovable.

The death of a bird is the death of a king,
So high that the fall is unbelievable as fire
Unfaded by the realities of rigor mortis
(Stone effigies are soul images not bodies in ice).

The death of a bird implies flight,
It implies genius also,
It is a shamanic step
A moment in transit
It is a run-on line.

The death of a bird also has caesural pauses,
Moments of emphasis,
Moments of rising and air currents,
Motion with stillness, wings locked.

The death of a bird is a leap,
A pause in space-time,
A fall into grace.

II-Apotheosis as an Owl (for Gershon)

Birds are always flying,
Even on their backs
As they search for the moon in our headlights
They are moving,
Silently, it is true,
They are always ascending.

Even as they cease to see
Their eye is watching,
Surveying the wall of time
We cannot know.

The mysteries of unarmoured heavens
Are visible to them even in the metallic martyrdom
Of an oncoming car,

For they understand
The static of the spheres, time’s
Discordant music.

III-Apotheosis as a Dove (for Wendy)

The deaths of birds are painterly in their magnitude,
Stretching like whirlpools into abysses of wings,
Beautiful as hurricanes or the eyes of Medusa.

They are untroubled deaths,
These spectacles,
Wearable as glasses,
Yet we cannot look at them,
They are too pure,
Too distilled.

The deaths of birds
Are quick as teleportation,
So full of time and energy,
So devoid of matter
That we must ritualise them,
Put glasses over our eyes for safety.

Without allegory
And alliance with heaven
Such death
Would rip a hole in our continuum.

So few lines
Such an abundance of painted circles.

by Sophia Nugent-Siegal ©