Friday’s Poem: Visit from the Firebird (for Valentine’s Day)

Wind is directing a waltz of swaying firs;

I hear the forest chorus, how they breathe

and moan, shush and shout. I know

they are dancing while singing, it is their natural state.

I am indoors, mixing love with color and form,

dab, swipe, smile: like that, paint comes alive.

But I am drawn to winter wind acting like its spring.

If I stood outside, my hair would be a flag

of white on auburn; pines would share their breath.

Is it the scarlet filling my brush, or remembrance

of that once-glinting hair: Stravinsky’s “The Firebird Suite”

brings in an orchestra and gifts euphoria to my brain.

With my cello I played it often under my father’s

elegant baton (and others’) and adored every note.

Still, it was my dance offered up to folk tale

magic that demands my attention now.

Entering stage right, at age nine

ready to be beguiled, and so sure-footed.

Swirling red chiffon plumes of my skirt

rose and shone as I circled,

leapt, reached and dove: Stravinsky

led me to my own small firebird.

Miraculous to the child I still somehow was,

I felt freed by bravery and joy; we were

twinned spirits as music with movement drew

me whole into a vortex of transformation.

Metamorphosis of a girl, an introduction.

Afterwards, that applause. It was a deeper

knowing of mystery that kept me aloft for months.

What pulls a child to the Firebird’s dance?

But children, especially, need saving graces.

In this moment sunlight sweetens

the clean pebbly paper. Bouquets of blue-greens

multiply beneath my careful hand.

The wind will romp through trees

while Stravinsky embraces, inspires me–

to make love strong and everlasting: more courage

and all is well, even for the true

and beautiful, fearsome firebird.

May she rise up for all who admire her,

and let one more crimson feather drift to me,

landing gently on a limb of a waltzing tree.

5 thoughts on “Friday’s Poem: Visit from the Firebird (for Valentine’s Day)

  1. Wow! The Firebird Suite is very significant for me, as well. I was a high school band Drum Major when we put that song on the field as our closer. I relive that exhilaration every time I hear the song, but alas am not so gifted at words as you. Well done!

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