Birdwolf is a new year-long project authored by the collective Entropy community. It is a collaborative online epic poem written by the Entropy community on a weekly basis. A different author will write the next stanza or section of the poem each week, to be posted every Tuesday, following the previous post from the previous week, and following a very limited set of guidelines (that each author has one week to write the next piece after the previous week’s installment goes up, that the installment should build from the previous section’s content and form, and that contributions should range between 8 and 24 lines or be a visual work).
Follow the entire epic poem here: Birdwolf.
The third installment is presented this week by Janice Lee.
An owl peered through the window to hear the drums beat around the stranger,
The windowsill lined with dead birds was invisible, eerie resting drum.
The stranger’s memory faltered. He repeated, It’s handled,
And looked around with fear into the eyes of the others, faces engaged
And his memory canceled out with images of dead birds.
They gave up, he finally declared. The birds. Then, a low growl.
First the sky changed color, he began. From under the table, another low growl.
And from un-blue to blue to purple to black to red, dimmer and stranger.
One napping body in the trees felt the winds change direction, notified the birds,
But the birds were weary and afraid, and only knew to keep up the beating of the drum.
Woven into the white fabric of the sky were the colors, confused, engaged,
And by midday, the napping body had already been handled.
By the time anyone noticed the darkness coming, they, too, had been handled.
And tiny vessels trying to escape the shaking of the earth were swallowed by the growl
And stilted, the birds tried to arm themselves, become engaged,
But the birds were stifled by stiff wings, falling vertices, and the arrival of another stranger.
Do we continue to beat the drum? One asked. Continue to beat the drum,
Another answered. And for a brief moment, it was again, all up to the birds.