Flu Bird (Draft 2)

Flu Bird

Shoo flu don’t bother any feverish pretty bird –
she’s got new places to fly, has
songs to fluently sing like Supergirl,
dynamic visitor from a poetic planet,
faster than a speeding silly eagle
able to leap over my building in a single bounce
and she, I’ve heard, feels feverish. Well yes,

I wanted to hear everything even though
we’ve parted, departed, left the park where
she released her homing pigeons
for their test flights, and to be
alone with me

She loved her birds, and
I, her coo’s, because she’s
a pretty feather
a tickle.

Who knew flu would come again
from bird to bird to pig to human
assuming many mutated forms, a spreading

storm of sneezes across the world
stirring up brews for brooding
clouds hanging over chicken soup
a reign of foreboding virus, but

many don’t succumb
or get hit by lightning
in their tanks or cars
though many are
run over by swine
and never come home

not fine in any case of woe
where soup falls into the wishing well, but
let me fly home where love is food
and yet finally our love would be uncaged.

Let there be a sage, I say,
no, I demand, that says

if there’s any justice,
we’ll meet again
in the meadow by the lake
for goodness sakes, only just
sneezing joy from pollen and tickles,
and never struck by lightning

— Douglas Gilbert

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12 thoughts on “Flu Bird (Draft 2)

  1. I love it! I’m pretty sure it’s the best flu poem ever written. It’s hard to be a supergirl when you’re bogged down with a fever. Luckily it hasn’t gotten much higher or worse. I’m just kinda achy – If it’s the flu (which i was definitely exposed to last week by three different people i work with) then i must have gotten a mild case of it. I like the ‘speeding silly eagle’ and ‘visitor from a poetic planet’. I like this stanza a lot too:
    “She loved her birds, and
    I, her coo’s, because she’s
    a pretty feather
    a tickle.”
    Great poem…the tickle makes me feel like coo-ing and oooh-ing and ahhh-ing. (giggle)

    1. Thanks very much. I have to admit that your inspiration really made it possible to drive to the end of this idiosyncratic fluency of odd mixtures. Your comments seem to stimulate new poems because there’s always a hint of a new ticklish thing or something to contemplate. Many poems on your plate that I can take a taste of even if you can’t quite finish it. Glorious to share. I hope you’ll have enough to eat. But the banquet, I think, will last a while. The thing about fantasy is how well it can be preserved until the symbols are revealed to be true in essence at the meeting where superficial appearances are shown to be tolerable if…
      (ok, I’m lost in this philosophical discussion and don’t know where to continue). I think I’m really good at slow motion discussion where I can think about what I’m going to say. I’m not so good at instant interaction. It’s always nice to be able to say what I would have said, if I in an instant, would have said to someone before they turned their back in boredom or confusion, what I meant to say or speculate about, or dance about, or sing about, and then such music I would be, and wouldn’t mind at all a chorus, or an improvisation of counter point: glorious harmony, such a dream.

      1. Oh you’re welcome. It’s just another day in the life of supergirl whose main purpose must be to bring inspirations bounding across cables and keys through the magic of modern day silent communication. I know what you mean…i’m not so great at instant interaction either once it goes past the everyday pleasant small talk range. I probably say the wrong thing or say too much or i’m just not interesting enough…i don’t know but it gets kind of lonely. Well in any case i promise never to turn my back on you in boredom or confusion because i understand how hard it can be. But you’re welcome to take a taste from my poetic plate anytime you feel like it. All this food talk is making me hungry, I’m going to run off and make an early dinner because we ate a late breakfast that was more like a brunch. On tonight’s menu is:
        http://allrecipes.com/recipe/country-fried-steak-and-milk-gravy/detail.aspx
        mmmm! I’ve made it a few times and it’s delicious. Except i don’t use lard, i just use vegetable shortening. Homemade mashed potatoes on the side…yum!

    2. mmmm, good to have a stake in the delicious. Sounds like the mashed potatoes will save you. Great how shortening makes long the crispy dish delicious. For every steak there is a tip, and for every chew the chef is thanked when the gathering is sanctified by love. OK, a little corny but I couldn’t help but type out the notion when it occurred to me like a scene for a greeting card. Sometimes I wish I were made of silly stuff and not of dragon fire, more the ideal than the dark cynical satire or dregs at the bottom of the glass. It is so easy to imagine the ecstasy of a Scrooge at Christmas when pain and sadness is redeemed for the curmudgeon. Well, except I’ve never been rich nor mean. How is a generous person revealed when he is poor and incompetent? I don’t know. When the beggar smiles, is that enough to reach heaven? Yeah, OK, reaching poetry hyperbole, the chatter of the chatterlings and scatterling-a-lings. Yes, have flour, will dip.

      1. Poetry hyperbole?? (giggling) a chatterlings and scatterling-a-lings, love the way you play with words – i bet you would set the scene for some of the best greeting cards ever, heck, i bet you could even invent a new “hallmark” holiday. You could write out a few new “legend-like poems” with a main central character(s) that would bring steak and potatoes, chicken cutlets or some kind of food items. hmmm i guess candy does probably work best since it doesn’t have to be kept cold or warm…then everybody could get together and party because of it. Everyone could master a new dish (or two) over the course of the year and bring it to a big feast to share with all their loved ones. It’ll be a grand time i’m sure. I could even buy (or learn to make) a new dress to wear. Maybe purple could be one of the colors for the new holiday. What month doesn’t have any holidays in it? oh, i don’t know, i’m just being silly anyways and i went a little too far with it, hehe…but i’ve always found you to be completely charming.

      2. After much thought I’m not sure that we really need a new holiday but perhaps there’s one that could be improved upon. Like Labor day. Maybe it could be revised to include all workers. I mean, as it is now it’s supposed to be a day giving honor to the workers and laborers of society but pretty much the only ones who get the day off are the better jobs that have benefits and paid time off plans (like the bankers, lawyers, office workers ect). Most of the lower rung workers, like a lot of laborers, builders and restaurant workers still have to work and don’t even ask off because they can’t afford to take an extra day off if they don’t get paid time off days and they don’t even get extra pay for working on labor day. Just a thought…i mean, i had to stay home today ’cause of our fevers and it made me think of paid time off and working and laboring and laborers and labradors, well maybe not labradors…(hehe)

      3. Yes, I think that should be it: Labrador Retriever Day. That’s where everyone who works on Holidays retrieves a lost day. Maybe they could have a special convention in Labrador, all-expenses paid, and even the oil workers from the arctic could come down for a warm hotel — oops, that makes a problem, who would be working at the convention center, the hotel, the restaurant, the bar, the police station, the hospital, and who would be the vet on call for the dogs… I guess you could have seven days: Red Labrador Retriever Day, Orange Labrador Retriever Day…. Maybe the guests could be hired by the Hotel to work on alternate days with a special holiday bonus, and guest police could do security on one of the alternate days… Or the dogs could be given harnesses, wagons, and carts to fetch the food(if the dogs think it’s a game, they might enjoy it and it would still be a holiday for them). Hmm, a single universal day, that would be hard to do. We can’t yet have everything run by robots so I suppose everyone could get into bed for 24 hours and try not to get sick or have an accident — I don’t think we have enough doctors and nurses to have one in every bed.

    3. Ooops. Did I reply in the wrong box again. I suddenly got logged off and got all confused… well I think I saved it first:
          Yes, I think that should be it: Labrador Retriever Day. That’s where everyone who works on Holidays retrieves a lost day. Maybe they could have a special convention in Labrador, all-expenses paid, and even the oil workers from the arctic could come down for a warm hotel — oops, that makes a problem, who would be working at the convention center, the hotel, the restaurant, the bar, the police station, the hospital, and who would be the vet on call for the dogs… I guess you could have seven days: Red Labrador Retriever Day, Orange Labrador Retriever Day…. Maybe the guests could be hired by the Hotel to work on alternate days with a special holiday bonus, and guest police could do security on one of the alternate days… Or the dogs could be given harnesses, wagons, and carts to fetch the food(if the dogs think it’s a game, they might enjoy it and it would still be a holiday for them). Hmm, a single universal day, that would be hard to do. We can’t yet have everything run by robots so I suppose everyone could get into bed for 24 hours and try not to get sick or have an accident — I don’t think we have enough doctors and nurses to have one in every bed.

      1. (giggling) I love Labrador Retriever day! I was at the store earlier looking at the birthday cards for my son’s birthday that’s coming up and I saw one with a labrador wearing a party hat. I’m pretty sure all fashionable Labradors would wear party hats on Labrador day! It made me think of your comment because i read it earlier today and just didn’t have enough time to comment. I had to get ready to go to the Dentist. Which is always just tons of fun (ugg!) But my dentist is a very nice man and he always has the radio on an oldies station and he’ll sing certain lines of the song out as he working on your teeth. The first time he did that I thought it was kind of odd, and then I realized the calming effect it had. I’ve always been kind of nervous with dentists and for some reason his singing makes it feel much more comfortable, or maybe homey or something, i don’t know. Enough about dentists though…back to Labrador…i think I may have figured out something that would work. We could trade Laborr days with Labrador. We could go to Labrador for our labor day and then they could come here for their labor day. Then everyone would have a work-free day. Or maybe it could just be like how Sundays used to be when almost everything shut down for the day (besides hospitals). Oh I guess that wouldn’t work because the employers are too worried about their profits and the money they’d miss out on if they closed their business for an extra day which is why they probably won’t shut down on the original labor day that we’re already provided with. Yeah, I guess the 26 days in April is the best idea.

    4. I’m sorry you’re sick. I hope you get better in time for Labrador Day. Hmm, I think there are no holidays in April suitable for “A-Labor Day for those who work on Labor Day” and “B-Labor Day for those that work on A-Labor Day”, and “C-Labor Day for those who work on B-Labor Day… ummm, those who work on Z-Labor Day are out of luck unless they don’t work on Labor Day but then they wouldn’t qualify for the Holiday for those who work on Labor Day….

    5. Well, OK, it’s just a naming problem then. In April there’ll be a 26 day holiday called, “Laborr Day for those who work on Labor Day (or for those who work on Z-Labor Day and their Laborr Day shall be on Labor Day with a full paid day off — they get an extra “r” and an asterisk on the calendar.)

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