Poem: Ode to another nightingale

Today a poem from my collection in writing, Meditations.

Ode to Another Nightingale

After fifty years words still defeat me
At every beginning.
The phenomenon itself slips from my fingers.
I am left with only solipsist phrases.

Outside the city crumbles: its all too human millions
Wear out the urban circuitry.
They pile on mountains of waste.
They discard the amanuenses of their lives

And forget the nightingale
Whose darkling requiem pulls no crowd,
Though in this shaded room
Its song is still praised by a solitary priest.

Here alone again on this Sunday morning
Its machine produced song still
Transports the chanter from daily weary chores
To some secret memory of the true rites.

Forgotten and broken rites,
Interrupted by leopards,
Are rehearsed to this song
In this dark place, sheltered from the ruins.

Forlorn, he read, and strikes the bell.
But no townsfolk assemble at the church.
Only loud cackles from another room,
And this question: do we still dream?

Jeff Rich

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