On the cusp of a planetary turning, I seek
an oracle. Surely a bush will burn away
the mystery that covers the next year, carve
paths for me to follow. Far beyond, wavering
purple and yellow walls emit auroral noises.
Hissing. Cracking. Barely visible behind
a translucent veil of arctic air, I glimpse
the fluttering wings of a prehistoric bird, visitor
from a land of myth, an intelligence I meet
for the first time on this vulnerable morning.
It flashes and flares, a creature made of fire.
Preening. Stomping. The sky’s vocalizations
fly miles through the atmosphere into dreams,
into nightmares—the random, uncanny groans
of something beyond knowing, something ancient
that lives apart but among us, who cries a warning,
who pleads for existence. A message
not just for me, but for us all. What will we do?
Its language is not ours.
As we leave the dumpster fire that was 2020 behind, what manner of phoenix will rise from those ashes in the year ahead? We’re trying to find the words… – mh clay