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Page 140

It's a joy to create this stuff, a joy
to share it. (That's my story, and I'll stick
to it. Here I am -- stuck?) I don't write this
to make money, but I'm glad to be paid for it,
because it helps you feel you've given
something in exchange. Even songbirds get
from us bird houses, bird baths, bird seed
in winter and (we hope...eventually -- please!)
a planet safe for birds, with enough trees and
untoxic air for them. I suspect our admiration,

our willingness to wake to a new day
because they sing the same songs
that ushered in each fascinating childhood day --
I suspect these in themselves remove poisons
from air and water. (I wonder, do abused children
hate birds -- wanting to kill the messengers
of each new day, each new torment? Some, perhaps.
Others want to be birds, to be able to fly.)

For a few people, my words will be invitations
to come out and play, and their play
will enrich my life -- another exchange.

A bird call here...there...another,
newly made corners of a huge space
out there (I'm not really a spacist. I love
space, because we can be in it -- or not) --
a world. Slight seepage of gray light
beneath the shade, bird whistles and
a world.

(Or, somewhere a poet dies or stops singing,
and the world shrinks.)

The blank page is not space. It's a shade
pulled down to stop the light from preventing
sleep (but not dreams). I don't fill the page;
I let my chirping pass through it to suggest
a world beyond it where, wide waking,
you can continue to dream.


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