It had a velvet cap,
And wold syt upon my lap,
And seke after small wormes,
And somtyme white bred crommes;
And many tymes and ofte
Betwene my brestes softe
It wolde lye and rest;
It was propre and prest.
--from John Skelton (1463-1529),
The Boke of Phyllyp Sparowe
Traditionally they are called a host of sparrows, a quarrel of sparrows, a knot of sparrows--my group is not quite large enough to be a host, nor are they a bickering quarrel this morning. And if they are a knot, these sparrows are a large, wondrous Celtic interlace that hardly knows head from tail as it moves in complicated ways through the rugosas.
The cardinals arrive in a dash of color, flicking their tails, bunching against the chill. But the sparrows cheep on, all pausing from motion for an instant, looking like little brown fruits left over from fall on the whips of the canes.
* * *
Finding me elsewhere in recent books:
- Thaliad's epic adventure in verse here and here (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2012)
- The Foliate Head's collection of poems from Stanza Press (UK) here
- A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage from Mercer University Press (ForeWord 2013 finalist, The Ferrol Sams Award, 2012) here
- The Throne of Psyche, collection of poetry from Mercer, 2011, here
- Excerpts at Scribd