A green finch…

A green finch takes a liking to our Callistemon |
already cozied up to sun & rain.
The finch | itches its beak | nibbles insects
& pollen dusts its feathers when it scoots
from branch to branch— from this distance the blooms
resemble lobster pincers | provide ample
cover & keep the famished tabby cats at bay
—there’s no Romanticism for that bird
only the rotary of struggle | it knows
no adjective to discuss the pleasures of flight |
its xylophonic vocals | good for an annual fuck
—the remainder of the year serves as beck
n’ call | alarm to warn his own of predators nearby.
& what we feed the air spins in his brain

the size of a walnut | the chaff filtered
with a diaphanous beat | the talent
of lungs no larger than a kidney bean.
The finch never reminisces that time
its brother got its head stuck in a Pepsi™ can
& suffocated high on processed sugar
—nor when its nest was ransacked
by magpies | who slurped the yolk
of its seed clean from the calcified womb.
There is no past for it to ponder |
no mind to give matter to a past | only successive now.
i’ll leave this fat worm clinched with a paper
clip to the 2nd brush on the left | that really red
one sharing the tip— an easy meal | a little rest.


To purchase Isacoustic volume 1 featuring poetry by me & a spectrum of other fine poets click here.

20 thoughts on “A green finch…

  1. yes yes, “rotary of struggle” but also “The finch | itches its beak | nibbles insects/& pollen dusts its feathers when it scoots….” there’s amazing music here friend, & the second stanza of humor with F-bomb included reminds me of Hughes’s Crow, where at first it’s serious & even a bit of nature poetry (a grand first stanza), but then humor & the modern world & just a sureness to bring everything into poetry (Pepsi trademarked) appears. Fantastic. Great to read it aloud in snow covered American suburbia

  2. “slurped the yolk”…there is something poetically wet and wonderful and yet awful about that line. You have such a cool set up in your life. An English perspective on an Asian island where you built your own life, literally, and are documenting the local passage of time in poesy:

    Jeju’s Hemingway… 멋있어요!

    1. Thanks. i was inspired by a Ted Hughes perspective of nature in this one, devoid of the romance of a Shelley, rather opting for the hard reality of a bird.
      My set up us good, but i am getting restless. i am thinking of going to England for a couple of years to do my MA. We’ve made a bit of money now & my wife thinks it is a good idea while i am still young. Think i’ll study Contemporary Lit. Might even try & get on a PhD after.

      1. Getting such schooling is no guarantee of a decent job ($$$) or enough money to live on, or any kind of happy future. NEVER get your MA or PhD if you want it for the sake of the title. It is ABSOLUTELY NOT worth it.

        BUT… then again…you are in a special position: you have Korean language skills which are more relevant now than they have ever been, you have the writing chops. I would try to find a way to continue profiting off of your Jeju cafe/guest house while living in England if possible.

        I think you are absolutely the right person to get an MA in English Lit or Writing or something…just at the right time…without sacrificing the wrong things.

      2. i realize this. i’d just like the time to study more in depth. i am limited without access to a library & just the time to focus. i realize it is all a gamble, but it certainly isn’t for titles, i just want to learn more & i still (perhaps naively) believe in education institutes to provide resources & time. It can’t help for contacts for more publishing opportunities too. i think at least an MA can allows me to do more. For example, i can apply for university jobs in Korea, or jobs in more industries in England such as journalism, teaching, media & even marketing. Right now, my experiences in Korea single me out as someone a little more daring & perhaps interesting from the usual person applying for jobs, but i still have little opportunity to branch into better employment there. An MA solves a bit of that. PhD, i’ll only do if i get funding.

      3. From that perspective it sounds much more strategic and doable. Your uniqueness, if presented the right way, is a huge bonus. How that can be done, I don’t know, but you are the kind of thinker/writer who could make your experience work really well as an asset.

        You haven’t just gone through a bunch of university courses on Korean culture and understand it in the abstract, you have lived there and lived a Korean experience. That is a huge plus.

      4. Only by going back can i try & do something with my experiences. Another point is, after 8 years, i am more homesick than ever & i need to go back & make a life there before it feels too late. i hope to set up a life in England, but i am not giving up my life in Korea, not completely. My dad said something to me once: “if i were to see you two weeks a year till i die, that would still not be much time at all in total.” & that saddened me, & applied to my friends as well it just made the idea of settling here completely for the rest of my life unbearable. So i have to try & see if i can’t make something work so i can dish myself out between the two. What that will be, i don’t know, but i know more education seems like the best place to start.

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