Monday, January 12, 2015

Poem of the Day: "Birds of Indiana" by Ross Balcom

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present "Birds of Indiana" by Ross Balcom.  Mr. Balcom is a frequent contributor to the Songs of Eretz Poetry Review & quarterly e-zine, where a brief bio may be found

Birds of Indiana
Ross Balcom


Everywhere I look,
I see birds of Indiana.

Their numbers
overwhelm me,
these birds of Indiana.

Where is "Indiana"?


are the birds of Indiana,
but their shadow
is one.

Dark, dark
is their shadow.


Camped outside her heart,
I wooed her with song.
She laughed at me,
laughed at me.

Her heart was pledged
to the birds of Indiana,

to the damnable birds
of Indiana.


My bloody testicles
were flung in my face
by the birds of Indiana,

by the cruel birds
of Indiana.


I called the police.
"Save me from the birds
of Indiana."

I was told,
"You get what you deserve
from the birds of Indiana."


Many are driven to suicide
by the birds of Indiana.

Others stand tall,
and fall like towers
struck by airplanes.

No one is safe
from the birds of Indiana.


I sought solace
in my mother's arms.
I found only her skeleton,
picked clean

by the birds of Indiana.


Note to self:

You will never find
your way back
to love and sanity.
Your trail of bread-crumbs
was eaten by the birds
of Indiana.


Chased out of town
by bird-lovers,
I sit by a dying campfire
in the woods,
telling myself stories
of the birds of Indiana.
The terrible birds
of Indiana.


The world exists
to nourish the shadow
of the birds of Indiana.

Poet's Notes:  I was born in Indiana and have an interest in birds, so I suppose it's not surprising that I decided to write a poem entitled "Birds of Indiana." The resulting poem was darker than I had anticipated, but I enjoy surprising myself.

Editor’s Note:  I especially enjoy the way that the use of refrain here creates a relentlessness that enhances the impact of the story and how the abrupt turn changes the tone but does not disrupt the continuity of the piece. 

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