SPARROW and birds at Cootes Paradise


Because of time, I left my bones outside my body. The future requires no bones. Birds: hollow bones. Me: hollow body. I squeeze through the present and into what hasn’t happened yet. I leave the present behind but bring the past. Tinnitus of the insides, a ringing bell. Hard not to imagine the ears as the plumage of caves. A bird flying from the east, a bird flying from the west, each down the tunnel of an east or west ear, meeting inside. This is the present, more or less as the Venerable Bede wrote about sparrows.

It seems to me as if you were sitting at your dinner tables warm in the hall, and it rained and it snowed and it hailed and one sparrow came from outside and quickly flew through the hall and it came in through one door and went out through the other. Lo! During the time that he was inside, he was not touched by the storm of the winter. But that is the blink of an eye and the least amount of time, but he immediately comes from winter into winter again. So then this life appears for a short amount of time; what came before or what follows after, we do not know.

My sister-in-law used to walk beside my father-in-law and out of nowhere say, “I have no bones,” and become floppy, requiring him to hold her up as if she really had no bones. I don’t know what holds me up. Time. Moving forward. The wind going into my ears and telling me things. My head a dining hall for thanes and sparrows. My bones, piled outside in the winter snow, as if enough firewood for only a few days.  


Translation adapted from