A heron is flapping forever over the gable;
The weathervane flies away from cliché —
From flightiness, fickleness, apices unstable,
Towards some imagined, unforeseen display.
The “Winds of Life”? Too conventional, too banal,
Quite unsuited to the silhouetted bird buoyant
Whose copper pinions flashing, frail and flamboyant,
Hold fast the elements of artifice and squall.
This body aloft is no reminder: “Lift up thine eyes”;
What’s bound for heaven is best affixed to an altar;
Nor does sorcery slue this art that flies,
Slowly while invisible forces falter.
It’s just that some rafters were erected;
It’s only that a cupola was connected;
A heron came over the ridgepole unexpected;
And in the future, at some hour unknown,
Some other heron certainly will have flown;
The bird in hand is worth the conjecture alone.
NOTES for Students of English
Apices – (Pronounced Ā-pa-seez) The plural of “apex.”
“Lift up thine eyes” – “Thine” is an archaic form of “your.” This phrase imitates a Biblical style.
Slue – To cause something to rotate around a fixed point.
Cupola – On a roof, a square or rounded ornamental structure on which a weathervane is mounted.
Ridgepole – The highest horizontal timber in a roof.
“The bird in hand is worth the conjecture alone.” – A conflation of two sayings: 1) “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” meaning that something already possessed is better than a hypothetical larger prize that is not yet achieved; and 2) “(Something) alone is worth the price of admission,” meaning that something is so valuable all by itself that the quality of anything accompanying it is unimportant.