Today at work I noticed
A sparrow lying on the sidewalk
In front of the door.
He had flown into the glass,
And I assumed, broke his
Neck in the process.
I procured a plastic bag from
The customer service desk and
Everyone gathered to gawk
As I picked up this small
Unfortunate creature. As I moved
To place him in the trash can I
Noticed the warmth, and a faintly
Beating tiny heart, emanating from
Within the shopping bag.
He was still alive.
As I peeled the bag back
The little bird’s glossy black
Eyes gazed out at me.
I could see pain in them.
I felt sorrow in my heart, he
Was meant for so much more than this,
Meant to soar in a world that constantly
Placed panes of glass in his way.
I could empathize with his plight.
“should we put him out of his misery?”
Asked one of the girls from customer service.
“Probably” another shot back, “it
Would be cruel to let him suffer.”
“well who is going to do it”? asked
Everyone took a step back from me,
I stood holding the bird as everyone eyed me
With a nervous apprehension. This poor hurt
Little bird. I knew then that no one else would
Do it. No one else had the courage.
I hate myself for doing it, but he
Was hurt and dying. I felt it would
Be crueler to leave him to die of exposure,
Wrapped in a plastic bag and stuffed in a
I took him by his legs, and before I lost my nerve
Swung his head into the side of the trash can, snap.
He didn’t let out a sound. My co workers though still
Regarded me with horror, as I gently wrapped him again
In his polyethylene sarcophagus and committed him to
The great beyond. Whatever would greet him there.
Everyone slowly filed back inside, without saying
A single word to me. I took a step away and lit a
I am sorry brother no one else would give
You the dignity you deserved in death. You were meant to
Soar but the world insisted on putting things in your
Way at every turn, plate glass, wind turbines, etc.
Stupid shit at every turn, if you were not a bird but a
Man you might look a lot like me.
It had to be me to ease your passing
But I wish to god it hadn’t been.
Travel well, if there is any justice at all
In this life or the next I will see you
Another happier day in paradise.
The sword cuts easily
The liquor enfeebles entirely
The boots leave muddy footprints
The body fails
The bullet flies true
The pill and powder deceive
The trousers wear at the crease and cuff
The trousers wear you
The will conquers all
The vehicle gives way to impact
The nose bleeds freely
The life dissolves
The sails fill with wind
The fibers strain to breaking
The joints move as intended
The third mate has gone mad
The stock boy carries the cases
The psyche struggles to comprehend
The form goes through the motions
The world crushes all that is good.
Liberation for Lions
He paces furtively, the shaggy
Lion trapped within a box.
The box is his trap and his
Sustenance both at once.
Trapped he remains
on this wheel that turns forever.
The lion turns to the master
Ever present in his mind and
Asks “what is the way to liberation?”
The master replies “it is the cypress in
The courtyard.” Unsatisfied the lion
Shakes his shaggy head and this time
Roars “what is the way to liberation?”
“it is the flight of the heron high
Overhead” replies the master serenely.
The lion grows agitated within the
Box, confined, angry. Ill at ease with the
Perceived limitations of his life.
He bellows once again at the master
“what is the way to liberation?”
The master replies “Now I will show you, not tell you. The
Path to liberation lies within. Only if you cease grasping for
Freedom can you attain it. Attempting to grasp the mind with
The mind is the perpetuation of your bondage. If you seek freedom,
Cease seeking freedom. Only with the cessation of mind will you be free.
Only with the cessation of mind will you see that you are free this very moment.”