Cool Blue Dawn

—for MilesDavis & John Prine

Bring me the top of the mountain

at the top of the world

this dawn top of the morning

to stand in the eagle’s lair, the air,

wind cool, steady, whipping

my hair, blue sky far as eye

can see, just me on this rock,

feathers ruffled, turning blue

till you arrive and that makes two,

three birds to share this view.


Bring me the backyard bluebird,

let it sing harmony with the finch

in the hedge, dance with the chickadee

hopping the spruce trunk, open for

the meadowlark’s heartbreaking solo

of hope hidden in weeds—let

Miles scream a bitchy hawk whistle,

make Bird squawk camp-robber riffs,

have Monk crow and whippoorwill

(the only way to go home)

and beg Coltrane to blow coda

of mourning doves supreme.


Bring me the music of birds today,

those are the best words

of comfort for the feeling of soul,

help us learn the language

we don’t know, this world, this life

we love, this light and noise

we agree exists, what we see

and don’t understand, help us forget

the threat we constantly fear—

knowing we are going to disappear—

for some reason it terrifies us to be

as fragile and beautiful as birds.


Bring me the dream of wings,

of freedom aloft, that promise of

flight when fate closes and opens

the door into birdsong and joy,

fearless in the new dawn

breaking over the unknown—hearts

reborn into a new kind of blue.


Mark Gibbons

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