The Small Birds of Early Morning

Needing only a shovelful of air to float on,
tunnels of light open daily with a flutter and a dash.

Little feathered flutes of dream buttered with song,
I bring you fresh lessons of foam from the rocks.

All the way to the end of my feathers I go.
There can be but one infinity, and it’s incomplete.

You might wish to swallow a river.
You might want to taste a stone.

There are mines inside, there are ancient caves,
as if you could have just a delicate slice of lightning.

Incongruous as a sunbathing polka dot cat,
I have forgiven myself for being too available.

I stand in this ocean walking on the bottom.
Your accomplice surrounds me and enters me.

Why so many of you, and so shy, as if I might
spill the patient seeds or eat up all the destinations?

I think I’ll go now, or I’ll go thinking unreasonably, with only
my beak and my new empty bones, lighter than thought,

having begun something illogical and right and needing
to search for the nest with my partially digested cricket thoughts.


About the Author: Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Dublin Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. In 2011 he received a nomination for The Best of the Web and two nominations for both the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net. He is the 2012 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Thin Air magazine. His book of days, Tunneling to the Moon, is currently being serialized with a work per day appearing for all of 2013 at