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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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       VIOLACEOUS JAY

              

                  The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful . . .

                                               

                                                                                                   -Robinson Jeffers

 

‘Dull violaceous lavender’ a field guide says of

this jay’s coloration


‘Neck and hindcrown  bluish white’ 


Habitat


‘Western Amazonia  western Orinoco  margins

of rivers and lakes’


Of  many-banded toucans the same

guide says

 

‘Toucans’ bills aid in cooling and heating’

 

Their bills are nutcrackers 

                                                  secateurs too

 

There’s nothing  though  about

violence 

 

Nothing on synapses  axons  dendrites

 

No link to tmesis

 

We crowd around the bird watching

its attempts to fly

 

A jay with one wing sheared off

                                                           splinters of bone

 

and raw muscle twitching at

the junction

                                  where humerus


and clavicle

                           once met

 

Imagine the jay leaping  and the perfect articulations

of one wing

 

A woman swearing to have seen

the toucan’s attack

 

The jay scrabbling in dirt   The agitated

flock of jays protesting

 

the spectacle of colors

                                          and shapes

 

cutting in between the jay cacophony

and the ruined jay

                                   regaining

 

its legs  poising itself

 

to rise once again to the wild music of its familiars

 

                                                                                                   

                                                                    Napo River Valley, Ecuador


                                                                     -Robert Grunst