Watching the Bird Watcher

by Richard Schiffman

Richard Schiffman

She peers through binoculars
into a treetop lit with day’s last blaze,
where some bird alights unseen by me.
Her gaze poised tremulous and light,
as if resting upon a twig-- looking, looking
at the bird that we don’t see. The bird in the tree,
and the seer of the bird sharing for the stainless present
the same slender branch. She stands stock-still.
Expecting nothing. Neither bird, nor bird watcher, nor air
are moving. Nor I, as I watch her, as she watches the bird--
all hung weightless and timeless and spaceless. Perched
upon this dimensionless brink. The twig could not bear
any more load than this bare awareness. If, therefore,
you would not spook the bird, nor snap the twig,
nor shatter this spun glass globe of air, then alight upon
the world like air, like breath. And do not linger any longer
than the bird watcher who now strolls off, the bird still hidden,
still lost in shadow. Forgetting the bird, forgetting herself.
Dissolving like an apparition into twilight’s final bay.
Only this poem still holding on. Foolish poem
grasping at the ungraspable world.

Richard Schiffman's picture

I am a spiritual author and a former journalist who started writing poetry a few years back. I’m glad that I did! For me writing and reading poetry has become a meditation, a way to become reacquainted with my own deeper self. In these pages I’ll share with you some of my own recent work, as well as my reflections on “the poetry of the Spirit.” Most of all I’ll offer links to some favorite contemporary poems and poets, places where you can begin your own exploration into this rich and exciting world.

Last updated April 19, 2015