Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 5 . . .

Solitude in a Park in Thurmont, Maryland

A tiny bird, iridescent night blue, visits
a hole inside a large knot on the lower trunk
of a poplar. He returns to that hole; darts
inside for four or five seconds, then emerges
to streak away, each time in a new direction,
bouncing on currents of air at the speed of an
arrow. Upon returning, to feed his mate no doubt,
he lands upon the swollen knuckle of that poplar, tail
down, head straight up like a compass needle, gripping
the wrinkled gray bark of the tree that resembles an
elephant’s leg. He leaps inside, departs, then returns
again, again, and again. Eventually, I can bear it no
longer and, finally, upon one of his many returns he
finds me inside that smoky shadow on the swollen
knuckle of the poplar, soul wide open!

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Alan Britt

Alan Britt teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University. His recent books are "Vermilion" (2006), "Infinite Days" (2003), "Amnesia Tango" (1998), and "Bodies of Lightning" (1995). Some essays have recently appeared in Clay Palm Review and Arson. Interviews and poetry have been featured in Steaua (Romania), Latino Stuff Review, and Poet’s Market (2000). Other poems have appeared in Agni, The Bitter Oleander, Christian Science Monitor, Fire (UK), Gradiva (Italy), Magyar Naplo (Hungary), Pedrada Zurda (Ecuador), Queen’s Quarterly (Canada), Revista Solar (Mexico), and elsewhere.

He has poems in the anthologies, "Fathers: Poems About Fathers" (St. Martin’s Press: 1998), "Weavings 2000: The Maryland Millennial Anthology" (Forest Woods Media Productions, Inc., St. Mary’s College, MD), and "La Adelfa Amarga: Seis Poetas Norteamericanos de Hoy" (Ediciones El Santo Oficio, Peru, 2003). Additionally, ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) recently broadcast a straight read, plus live stream on their Web site of Britt’s poem, "After Spending All Day at the National Museum of Art," as part of their Poets on Painters series.

Alan performs poetry workshops for the Maryland State Arts Council. He occasionally publishes the international literary journal, Black Moon, from Reisterstown, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres and two formerly feral cats.

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© 2007 Alan Britt