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233rd Weekly Poetry Contest winner: When Words Take Flight

by Bruce Boston

I experience enchantments
of mythic proportions.
I am the owl and the raven,

the kingfisher, the heron,
the eagle and the hawk.
All birds of prey

forever in flight
or about to take flight,
all birds black in silhouette

against a vellum horizon,
diverse hybrids
of the same inky strain.

I explode to fractal feathers
beneath a semiotic sky
engraved with cloud runes

and clouds glyphs
in a language arcane
and illuminating,

as if words were riven
by endless dichotomies,
an ongoing dialectic,

each thought entrenched
and bastioned by others,
beleaguered by innuendo

and extended hyperbole,
lodged as a riddle
in a complex puzzle box,

the aged grain of its wood
darkened and polished
through the centuries

by hands that have
tried to unravel
its wiredrawn intricacy,

by minds that have
tried to unhinge
the sky.

Appeared in Asimov's SF Magazine

See all the entrants to 233rd Weekly Poetry Contest