Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Desert Wings


Before the purpling of the sky,

a Great-tailed Grackle

bemoaned the heat

with open mouth.


He was gone

before the dust storm blew

across the lawn

turning it, and us, ashen.


There were no bells,

no ceremony.

Only this: dead




like motors running

from somewhere in the deep


stirring memories

of my bare feet

in the sand,


my hands lifting

shells from the shore

for a backward listen.


How different it all was back then.


But it wasn’t, was it?

Life has always been

roiling about us

in the mix of the fair

and the foul.


Did we just let

all that darkness take over,

choking everything

in toxic grip?


Did we just ignore it,

hoping the tide would go

just as it came?


Even so,

what I know now

I will not remain

perched to repeat,



small and brown,

mouth open in the heat,

shaking sand

from my unfolding wings.



© 2024 Jennifer Wagner


Shay’s Word Garden Word List


Since birds have no sweat glands, we often see Great-tailed Grackles walking about with their mouths open to cool down in the AZ summer heat.


Sunday, July 14, 2024

Blackbird Island


Blackbird Island

has many trails.


Many long,

many steep.


If you find your way out

to the coast,


a sandy shore, a bank,

a rocky reach, don’t overreach—


Blackbird Island gives no more

than a sailor’s sleep.


Keep your cool, watch your step,

watch your leap—


she has many secrets

yet to keep.



© 2024 Jennifer Wagner



Poetic Bloomings:  Are We Cool?


I took my inspiration from Blackbird Island in Washington state, though it isn’t treacherous or ominous.  Also, no birds were harmed in the making of this poem. :-P