Perfection — A Poem


after that slender snippet

of dried grass

that slipped from

his grasp,

he tumbles from

the roof’s spine,

scrabbles over shingles

giving chase —

and it eludes,

that straw-pale length,

so perfect,

so well suited to

his task,

that he persists

and dives,

frantically parting

damp air

on drawn wings

till both settle

upon green-fringed


Clutched in

bent-wire claw,

he soars to the eaves

to stuff it in

amongst a mass of


lengths and bits —

that perfect piece.

Silly sparrow.

Such display over one

blade so like


But —

do we,


not do

the very same?

— C.Birde, 3/16

blade of grass.jpg

“The Perfect Blade” — C.Birde, 3/16

10 thoughts on “Perfection — A Poem

  1. Agreed. We act like sparrows at times. Hard to let go of a thing and find the alternative. I want to think that commitment is like that but it tends to work in the opposite direction. A misfired attempt at attachment looks like that. xo

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    • Yes, attachment is such a complex and multi-layered concept. And I, too, think we are much like Sparrows — specifically, House Sparrows — generally successful in a broad sense, plentiful, adaptive, argumentative, with ever-expanding numbers slowly (unintentionally? mindlessly?) pushing out and encroaching upon other species and their needs. But, when observed in an intimate fashion, they are as extraordinary as any other creature. 🙂

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  2. the physical arrangement of the poem on the page (screen) works well in several ways. the slender line of words mirrors the snippet of dried grass. as well, each brief line adds to the narrative, keeping me interested. i also enjoy the music of the poem. i wonder if the last five lines are needed?

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  3. I’m tickled that you appreciated the poem’s physical structure, to mimic the slender aspect of a blade of grass, and the words arranged to resemble the sparrow’s rapid, darting movements. Thank you! I don’t know if the last five lines are “needed”, but they came to me in the writing, in response to my personal awareness toward perfectionistic tendencies…and that sometimes, I must just…let…go…! 🙂

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    • thanks for responding so gracefully. i meant the comment as just something to think about. in fact, over-writing is an issue that i often have. sometimes i don’t really find my subject until the second stanza or later, and other times i discover that my poem really ended much earlier than i’d thought! i would appreciate any suggestions from you or other poets reading this.

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  4. You are very kind. I must admit, I write from a purely intuitive nature. I do not in any way feel qualified to offer guidance. We all search for a similar mythic place, but we take so many varied paths to assure our arrival! Have you found Robert Okaji’s blog, “O at the Edges”? I may be speaking out of turn, but he seems to be one who has unearthed many answers! If I can do nothing more, perhaps I can stand in my little space on my little path and point in a potentially rich direction! Good luck to you! 🙂

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