Note: this poem is my attempt at a ghazal, a poem that uses a repeating end word and includes the author’s name in the last stanza. Read much more about the form here.
What comes to me is silence so I stare at clouds.
The air is filled with birdsong and the sky is dotted with clouds.
I sit outside alone and close my eyes to escape doubt.
I open them and see on the hillside the shadow of clouds.
Can I name even one of the dozens of birds on this slice of the mountain?
The robin, the magpie, the warbler are dark specks below the clouds.
As usual, I want this to last forever, the blue, the warmth.
I know it will fade to dusk and evaporate like the clouds.
Come back! cry the birds against the backdrop of the manmade fountain.
I search the changing shapes and coded messages of the clouds.
I imagine the suffering I know is happening everywhere
and send my prayers like birds up to the clouds.
If my name were a birdsong–Kim-ber-ly–what would it mean?
Above me the hawk circles and caws against the clouds.