Whose branch this is I think you know.
By how my (question-marks as) claws inscritch the bark.
How my worry-work along this bough
runs back and forth (and copper-keen) and evermore;
I got mocked and nicked No-Fly Bird

not for nothing.

Not for nothing have I picked this oak.
Though not thicktrunk-ancient as some angel-oak,
it’s sure the highest of our high so suits my lack.
—Charred wings won’t lift; I’ve got no glide
nor span to speak of. Ain’t this my beat : my usual limb.
Ain’t this pecking (carking) pulse

my far and wide.

More Poems by Atsuro Riley