When I’ve been silent long enough,
sparrow wings flutter near my ears,
take perch on the vines adjacent to the glider.

My silence listens
for whispers from the core of the earth
and distant galaxies.

Eyes closed, I hear the field mouse
gather seeds dropped by the birds
that attend the feeder.

Some days, I wonder if I practice
for that day my eyesight fails
and other senses will dominate interaction.

My heart sings
and I feel the melody in my limbs,
but I do not hear the refrain in my ears.

And I wonder how my legs
are more perceptive than
my university educated mind.

The sparrows take wing as I stand up,
initiate a walk—long strides span
whole notes in my own canticle of ecstasy.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


This poem exists because I was previewing early music on iTunes by Hildegard von Bingen and the word canticle got stuck in my head. So I wrote a poem to, in its meandering way, use the word canticle.

2 thoughts on “Sparrow

  1. Here you speak a truth that we know without knowing…a thing we know not with Mind, but with the fabric of our being, in every atom of our alive-ness: We are not our thoughts or our “university-educated minds.” We are something much deeper, much more attuned to the subtleties of awareness than we know. Love this one. And love to see you embrace the joy of being.


    1. Thank you, Beth. In the last two years it has become much easier to embrace the joy of being. Lot of work made it possible. Diet change. Knowing good people. Glad you are one of those good people I know.


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