Against Certainty

for Brenda

I saw you early today in the window
of your den that overlooks the street,

no doubt googling the latest treatment
options in a blur, while a Howe Sound

wind held office among the skyscraping
trees, rifling through the leaves like it

was looking for something, someone
and I dared to hope that far from the

finality of a label, written or spoken,
your body could soar in the open air

of its dreaming places and be nameless,
ageless, free again of any diagnosis, and

that behind the pane you too could hear
birds now shuffling through their notes

as if in concert with lifting the dark
sentence from that tiny cell of a word.

I am happy to say that so far, 8 years later, the birds have worked their magic! This poem is included in my chapbook “Irresistible”, coming any day now from Finishing Line Press, copies of which can be purchased here:https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/irresistible-by-lynne-burnett/

 

 

Riddle

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

You’ll leave your dreams
for it.  Blossoms have
even burst
open in bliss,
limbs been left shaken.

It hides out of reach
but orchestrates its life
so you know it’s near.
It began when the sky fell
through the tiniest crack—

now that’s a rush of angels
never seen! It could be
a famous conductor’s wand
waving in the air
or your ticket to serenity.

Its odds for striking
the right note
are better than yours
(a real feather
in the world’s cap)

for over and over
it sings an old song
handed down from the first
day it was ever sung—
praising, praising everything.

Say this is for the birds,
and you’d be right,
but then the riddle’s more
how a bigger brain could find less
to praise from its high perch.

Another old favourite, first in North Shore Magazine (2008)