Poetry Distributed by Bird

When we first went onto our roof, as we were planning to build the roof deck, I found that crows had scattered all sorts of shining treasures that glittered in the sunlight. That was when I hatched the idea. Those birds always picked up shiny things, and deposited them somewhere else. Why not see if these birds would distribute tiny foil-wrapped packets, with poetic phrases folded inside?
Someone on the street would find this foil wrap, open it, and read the phrase. But what poem to use? We had been spending time with Eliot’s Four Quartets, so it seemed the perfect poem – with very clear lines that made sense on their own. I printed off a few copies from the internet, sliced the lines one at a time, folded them in foil and placed them in a bowl.
They were scattered like luminous seeds on the roof, for the crows to pick up in their beaks, and fly them to distant places, to the streets below, to the corners and alleys and sidewalks and plantbeds in parks and on balconies.
Well, the crows never came. They didn’t touch them. Bird distribution was an idea whose time had not yet come! So after a few days I collected the foils, and they sat in their bowl for a few years.
Then James curated the Digitalis exhibition at the Interurban, titled Urban Poetry. He suggested we toss the foils onto the gallery floor, and people could pick them up and open them there. The opened lines of the poem were left on a table in the gallery, or on the window ledges, looking outside to the downtown eastside – Carrall and Hastings.
We held a workshop with them, each participant opening one foil, and discussing the line – how it resonated with the exhibition, that particular moment in time; leading to some magical and synchronous understandings.
The crows still bring shiny things to our rooftop. In the garden I found a watch, and in a flowerpot there were two quarters. Not exactly four quartets, but close enough for me!


2 thoughts on “Poetry Distributed by Bird

  1. Hello dear one;

    Thank you so much for bringing your illuminated voice to the world of blogging!

    I was so happy to have discovered your work this morning, it makes me feel closer to you.

    Love to you!


  2. Hi, sweetie! Fooling around with my own blog this morning, I clicked on “Carol’s page” or whatever I linked you as, and was enriched by this unpretentious articulation of the sacredness of life. Love you!

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