They blew in fast to the low slung tree hung fat
with beachball-orange fruitlets, a bickering gang of starlings--
little stars-- dining after their own fashion fastidiously,
preferring the mash fermenting on the grasses
to the firm fruits strung upon the leaf-bare branches.
They swilled their modest fill, before flying off on cue,
from one ripe paradise above the Westside Highway
to another. What urge is it that lifts their wings
that heaves the flock from lawn to fence to tree?
What wings are these that rake from earth to sky,
then back again, that steer these troops of tipsy stars
about the fruited firmament? Where from this fire,
this vaulting flame that plants the tree, that swells
the fruit, that lights the fuse in starling and in star?
And where the words to sketch such odd trajectory
of flight? And then the whispered breeze confessed:
There are no words, there is no breeze, no you, no me,
no bird, no tree. And even to say that there is only Life
would be untrue; Life never deigns to speak its name.
What can be said is only this: starlings swooping down,
scarfing fruit, winging off— God knows where.