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Video of the Day 
Leo Yankevich’s “Swallows”

time: 1:11/120 words

It was once thought that swallows
wintered on the moon,
or morphed into field mice
beneath the autumn swoon
of clouds, or slept beneath
wavelets on the floor
of shadowy ponds and lakes
until the sudden lure
of springtime roused them from
the kingdom of the dead.
Early Christians believed
they swirled around the head
of Jesus, giving comfort
as he bore his heavy cross,
or they were harbingers
of heaven after loss.
Today I look above
the eaves as autumn blooms
in the deep well of the sky,
my house’s empty rooms
echoing only wind,
the memory of their song.
They have flown south for winter,
which here is dark and long.


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  1. rhondda
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    This is an incredibly beautiful poem. For me though it needed a female voice to bring out the lyrical quality; the song behind or underneath the words.

  2. Stronza
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The reader’s voice, the words and the images on the video make for quite plangent stuff.

  3. rhondda
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever watched swallows flying? They are like sylphs on the wind. The words of the poem go down to sadness, but the image of the swallows flies high to heaven as indicated by by the line ‘swirling around the head of Jesus’ and says much more. Usually doves are used with Jesus. Swallows make much more sense, as doves were the sacred bird of Aphrodite who was the sensual and not the spiritual. Yet swallows are very real empirically and can dart, turn and dive as if angels.

  4. BasilX
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Did I hear the voice of our ancestors ?

    It is gloomy
    It is dreary
    It is barren now.
    The spirit has not fled
    The spring will come.

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