For the Bird Singing before Dawn

Some people presume to be hopeful
when there is no evidence for hope,
to be happy when there is no cause.
Let me say now, I’m with them.

In deep darkness on a cold twig
in a dangerous world, one first
little fluff lets out a peep, a warble,
a song—and in a little while, behold:

the first glimmer comes, then a glow
filters through the misty trees,
then the bold sun rises, then
everyone starts bustling about.

And that first crazy optimist, can we
forgive her for thinking, dawn by dawn,
“Hey, I made that happen!
And oh, life is so fine.”

Related Poems

Hope is a Bruise

Paintball pellets batter shoulders
and thighs at 190 miles per hour
I count the purplish bruises and
smile at the post vision of us toasting
laughing, being vibrantly alive

The woman who pierced my nose
Rushed outside afterwards for a cigarette
Whether my nostril or her nerves were to blame
We both survived an ordeal that day
I don’t think of the sweat on her lip 
or the tears on my cheek when my jeweled 
Black nose disrupts canonical spaces

Agony delineates child bearing from child rearing
Pain is the anticipated toll: the impossible stretch of skin and orifice,
wrenching of organs, the pinch and nip of nursing
I received no pamphlets about the pangs of panic and impotence
The deep marrow rupture when their ache explodes beyond your reach

A formation of police fired rubber bullets at my child
200 feet per second in defense of hatred and spiteful ignorance
She raged back in protest until her throat rasped, her heels
blistered and she shattered into sobs once safe in our home, in my arms
They gassed and maced my baby. She marched again the next day.
And the next and the next and the next and the next

Hope is a bruise, a nervous smoke and an unrelenting calvary

The Power of Hope Today

Today’s hope is a flickering candle that dwells in a snow-dusted window,
circulating the prayers of Christmas mornings.
Today’s hope is the crisp daffodil in colorless photos,
containing the soul of a small
who only wishes and knows of
peace and love.
Today’s hope is the sparkling eyes that
truly believe in achieving
anything to reach unity.
Today’s hope is the palm to palm connection
bracing each other for the climb neither expected,
but couldn’t abandon.
Today’s hope is peering
the lingering barrier,
but still recognizing the diversity in ourselves.
Today’s hope has been dimmed and tossed recklessly,
but still generously stays with us,
for we cannot help but come back
like wide eyed children to candy.
We are said to be weak to rely on such strength,
but we are only believers.
That spark
That gives science a baffled case
And oceans an infinite plane,
is the eagle that dips
and soars
and fights,
which stands for
the hope of

Storm Psalm

Dear darkness. Dear where we bow our heads in disbelief.
     Dear disbelief, hardly bow our heads and
hardly speak, so we sing, such words as darkness
     shows us how on days on end. So I sing it is
not hopeless. Hurry hurry. Nor faithless—to stand
     without faith, keeping open—. Now another
so they say, thus the trees utterly are still, and the wind is,
     and what wings there are utterly still in limbs
darkened above the barn. Bow down, for this darkness
     now above cedars. Smell of mint and tincture of
torn wood-pulp, or was that the last time, yes it was.
     Take shelter, take now cover take nothing
when it is time, for ye need no Thing but—. So I say
     the mighty voice upon the waters is, glory thundereth,
twists of ivy like leather scales along a body
     of the big limbs hanging, bearing down, to break.
Older than a door, older than a holding hand. His voyce
     breaks Cedars: breaks Cedars. The last time,
now lie in the doorway, in the tub, lie down, cover
     us with blankets. Yes hurry. Dear hurry. Dear
disbelief, Great are thy bowell-mercies Lord:
     after thy judgements—. Clap now a great wing
over the barn, the cedars, pelt now, rain now,
     or is that the last time coming wild, stones against
every pane breaking, is it the last, hail now whose
     particles breaking through as little toads, silver
fishes everywhere. Seek shelter—. What more
     do you need from me, it makes the forrest bare: take
the little ones quickly, bow down, great whirlwind
     in grit now, ice, excreate of stone and leaf-shred sound
of howling birds, so I say it is not faithless to lie
     in the doorway going down without faith, dear hurry
keeping open vigil at the site out of stillness out of
     darkness now the sudden breaking down, Dear wind—