the broadside series


Blue Fifth Review
Volume VII. Issue 3
April 2007

Errol Hess
( Donalds, South Carolina )

poem and audio link

Bird Shadows

Winter birds, circling,
cast long shadows swift
across a wind-swept field.

All on the ground is brown, 
bitten down by winter wind, 
except for sage grass clumps standing 

too close to blow, too soft to break.
The topmost vulture 
turns on a stationary wing,

hangs still in stiff wind,
looks down on kettling kin,
on three mockingbirds chasing

a red tail hawk trying to
follow the ramped air upward,
on an old man cleaning last summerís 

garden of dead tomato vines.
A bright day, long shadows
weave over ground the human works

to clean; the wind drives scraps
tumbling across, catching against 
composting piles of wood mulch, 

against car tires, tomato stakes, legs.
The vulture twists, flips a wingtip
feather, kites on upward.

Broadside Series - Contents