The Writer, a poem by Eric Robert Nolan at
Olya Prutskova

The Writer

The Writer

written by: Eric Robert Nolan



At night he dreamt of birds, thousands of them,
imprisoned in his house.

Ravens screamed in the attic.
Sparrows panicked in the hall.
He sat at his desk. A Jay pecked
Frantically at his shirt sleeve.

The basement door revealed
Torrents of finches, erupting in the dark
A loud gray storm
Of beaks and tiny claws.

Seagulls suffered in the cupboards.
Parakeets in the rafters, trapped,
Raged in Etruscan.

He crossed the room.
Moaned under the floorboards.

Twelve red cardinals
Lined his kitchen shelves –
A discordant jury.

Peacocks plead in the oven.
In a jar of sugar
Titmice struggled for air.

At his desk were
Photographs, letters
Pens and a half dead Marten.

He reached for his old brown afghan but felt
Bone and feather
The heav­ing brown breast
Of a starving eagle.

Sometimes the scratch
Of pen against paper brought
Respite from birdsong:

Two less wings against the silence
One less voice in that
Troubled aviary.

A parrot perched
On his paper stacks.
“Remorse,” it offered feebly.
“Regret,” he answered back.

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