Finbar Lennon – Bird Kill

FL LE P&W Feb 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2023

Bird Kill, poems by Finbar Lennon.

Bird Kill:

A bird, grey-white, pigeon-sized
glimpsed seconds before demise
low flight from nearby build –
lazy landing on center line
reluctant visitor to strange place
curious affect – in another space
my eye caught moment of the strike
shock burst of fluffy feathers spread
sight of sparks and blaze once shed
no bang , a muffled sudden clunk
car did not slow – did not know
bare bird’s body shorn of coat and cover
forlorn, lying still on concrete
as slow rise of weightless plumes
elevated by passing wind to follow
innocent killer fading in the distance
they stayed aloft and lingered long
before finding rest on side of road
the only witness I, a single passer-by
returned next morning to figure kind
dead dry splash with pasted remnants
wing and semiplumes on kerbside near
I wonder who sent this bird my way
to end in awe on busy motor lane?

Buck Teeth:

I bit my tongue this time
knew blood would come
even from a gentle bite
always an unwelcome sight
surge of red with chew
before appetite askew
lips and lining inside mouth
usual mark for errant teeth
effortless to surface split
a napkin or handkerchief
never fails to tell tales of
thinning blood and leaks
pressure on the flow of life
to stop molars in their tracks
along old uneven mouth line
a rinse a way to measure loss
remedy to eat alone or play
deadpan with a dental stick!

The Second Culture:

Found in beds, clinics and surgeries
filling hospitals and practices outside
lonely anxious people tom and mary
waiting for attention, happy to disclose
all their ills and bare their bodies for
friends they trust will make them well.

Come in and visit the humanities
it’s a plural, not on curriculum
just floating about interfering
with the business of medicine
blood tests, scopes and x-rays
decisions outside line of vision.

“It’s a funny weakness in my left leg
goes away if I stand or rest and then
comes back for no reason.” Hold on
in next cubicle albert is explaining –
“a lightness in my head, at times my
knees give way- first time last Friday.”

What next? no tests? more questions yes
so ‘leg work’ done before it reaches top!
“I have a fantastic problem for you sir –
cost him his job, took his own termination
weak lower limbs, pins and needles for 20 years
at work on his feet all day – that’s the sole issue!”

Clinical case studies for cognitive consultants
with time to spare an ear for tom and mary
his/her test of acumen – solve without recourse
to tests – answers often hiding in the history
cure not always pills and scalpels– just time
enough to set aside to listen and advise.

© Finbar Lennon

Finbar Lennon is a retired surgeon, accidental author and poet. He co-authored his late wife’s memoir ‘The Heavens are all Blue’ published by Hachette Ireland in 2020. He is the author of three collections of poetry, ‘NOW’, ‘A Thimble on her Finger’ and ‘Voices’, his latest collection that will be launched in March 2023 (Lapwing Publications, Belfast, 2021/2022). The role and place of poetry in the modern world are explored in his new collection.

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