The most common blessing, a poem by Tani Arness

Albuquerque poet Tani Arness, who read at OFFCenter a few months back, sent us this excellent poem today:

The most common blessing

The long-tailed birds are calling to me.
They are calling me into the coppery
brambles of winter. They keep promising
a pretty treat, a shree, a pretty treat, a feat. . .

I have wrapped the sun under one arm
and the moon under the other
and I am prepared to carry them
as far as necessary—

Reflections of yesterday and tomorrow shadow
the smalls of my eyes—
photos of birds on a wire,
songbirds balancing ecosystems in their beaks.
Birds are the most common blessing—
we forget to etch with ink their eyes—deep black.
I want to find, in art, my healing. . .
the first etching—a bird on a pole,
the last etching—a war song of sparrows.
Each moment the crows call to each other.
Each moment we listen or we don’t listen.

The ripple, jagged with affection,
is not right or wrong,
it simply loves us.
Can you understand
such a thing?
The mountains surrender their form to horizon,
The wind whispers over flickering black stones.
When will we let the world love us?

All our relations,
each crane, each goose,
a piece of the living.
I Feel it in the hollow of my bones,
the blue dusk. . .
Nothing more is necessary.
The stars fold the sky
into my direction.

I race with black-tipped wings
and white face into the curve
of canyon. The sky a path of rivers—