"It's about words, and words are all I have…"


Pfieffer Beach  Big Sur  California




Contemplating a tattoo under or near her mastectomied

breast   Maybe a bird with a heart on its chest   2 birds with

1 stone  His quadruple bypass not far from her scar  Set us 3  free

Birds can travel between the realms it is said


In the days before his death a colony of wrens gathered to

whisk him away   They returned daily thereafter  raising a

cacophony  on the balcony where he sat   Ticker time-bomb ticking

like the croc who swallowed the clock in Peter Pan


At night the little bluebird  tatt will fly off of my chest  not a prisoner

of the rib cage  unlike my heart   No escape  without a cardiovascular

surgeon  an Egyptian high priest for weighing against a feather    A

taxidermist  or undertaker


Blue will flitter above me  +rise up through the skylight   And like the Reaper

in A Christmas Carol  walk me through the life that might have been:  You

may still be here tomorrow  but your dreams may not    (Cat Stevens)   

So many things I’d wanted to be:  rodeo queen  missionary in Africa  rock star

rebel   jezebel    And there still may be time


But wait!  Bluebird  veering west  +flying via the prairie provinces to the land of

grapes+honey  (+the Beats)   It was 30 yrs. ago today  young self  condoms in

zippered pouch  boarded a plane to the sounds of Count Basie  with Ella crooning:

April in Paris   Raggedy parents waved goodbye   Ticker time-bomb  675 more days

alive          tic toc tic toc  tic  ti  t 


Flew to San Fransisco   Big Sur wanderings   Medical LSD  psychiatrist boyfriend

mailed regularly   Broke up with him abruptly during a Marcel Marceau show  They

had pay phones back then:  It’s not you   It’s me    


Each morning  the bluebird of happiness  will return to my chest  scented with the

African savannah  +California coast  all salty+redwoodsey   One night many of its

brethren will gather + this time deposit me at Pfieffer Beach   Permanently


Back in my bed a warm indent where I used to be   Ribcage+caged heart breathe

a sigh of relief on way to the beach    What a wondrous thing!  And all for $89.99

The tattoo special at: Pearl Harbour Gift Shop  Kensington Market   Xmas 2017



History will make this poem prophetic  and its awful silliness a spiritual music

I have the moan of doves  and the feather of ecstasy  (Allen Ginsberg  1961  Kaddish)



Fall 2017   for M.bird + D.bird   +Rachel Tyler Atkins

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