Poetry: “Bird Stories” Featuring Image: ‘The Eyes of Bougainvillea”

Bird Stories




aging birds that

once hopped fields, 

sang on clotheslines,

now straddle trees.

hot wind across the desert 

fluffs cactus wrens,

branches bend; eaves hide warblers

that echo dark canyons. 

under cumulous skies, thunder claps

like flaps of feathers

upsetting the balance of alighting night owls




a robin’s egg hatches in the trellis,

sparrows jet over blooms

then dance on the wood-block tree

at the end of spring, is the nest

half full? half empty?

vines hang to cover light

the babies nest 

above the doghouse




crack/break of hummingbird eggs

shelled beaks

chanting canticles

background fiddles weave patterns

violins, violence

opposites attract

the doves crow for harmony

Written By: Gloria Keeley

About the Author: I’m a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BA and MA in Creative Writing. My work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Slipstream, Forum and other journals. I graduated from CCSF and I taught at CCSF for 34 years and was the editor of Forum in 1969.

Eyes of Bougainvillea_Photography

Visual Art Piece “Eyes of Bougainvillea” By: Vincent Calvarese

About the Artist: As a writer and visual artist, he found his wings amongst his heroes of Eureka Valley. Using the San Francisco Bay Area as his canvas, he highlights themes of restorative justice in The Final Visit, familial pain in The Flesh of the Father, gun violence in Three Cloves of Garlic, the pharmaceutical crisis in The Clipboard and the gentrifying 7×7 plain in The Slanted Winds Down Guerrero Street. He is a past General and Poetry Editor for Forum Magazine.

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