Cait Johnson

dawn birds of august
 
before first light a peak of high note high note
bird song, first bird song of day
first bird song of august
darting, dark dragonflies, into my room.
 
Picture this low-lying valley, loamy
but dark, dark
pierced by this peak of shrill sound—
sound stitching valley and peak,
dark and coming light.
 
That’s the point. That’s the needle.
 
Soon dawn will come.
Territories will be squabbled over
the business of foraging
feeding, defecating, living
will begin again
and the first birds will be passed
in their flight by others, then others
and the peaks will become plains
and this valley will fill with sound
the light will grow and fade
and the hands will be busy
and the tide will rise and fall
every drop believing itself
to be the peak, the only peak
knowing itself to be
deathless
as the valley is deathless
as the stitching is done in darkness
over and over again
 
 
 
 
 
Cait Johnson is the author of six popular books of spirit-centered nonfiction. She is faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program, and a former Fellow of the Black Earth Institute. She also writes, directs, and performs in shamanic performance pieces, her most recent being SHIFT, an outdoor pilgrimage around the grounds of a local estate, with original poetry, music, and dance.
 

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