Four and twenty blackbirds
baked in a pie,
and then the ornithologist,
he began to cry.
But when the ALF opened up the pie,
they accidentally killed the birds
with their bloody knife.


Eskimo once asked Bradley why monkey poets liked to torture Eskimo so much. He said, "It's because we love you!" And then he dashed back to the microphone and proceeded to read another Rumplestiltskin rant. Eskimo thinks the real reason she is easily tortured by monkeys is because she grew up surrounded only by gentle bears, wolverines and bald eagles. This is why her princess self has joined the ranks of hundreds of other women poets in Sacramento and retired to the safety of her backyard to contemplate the gently twittering fauna. Some of these delicate poetesses have penned entire treatises and odes to the fluttering winged ones. Eskimo has not gone that far. Yet. Oh what a better place than in this golden city of trees to ecouter the sweet sparrow songs. It is almost like Paris. Almost. But sometimes Eskimo misses the monkeys and their howlings, especially when they call her in monkey paws de deux and burble in baboon to her about her beautiful gibbous moons.

Here is a little Eskimo poem that both birds and monkeys love, and she hopes that they will all go out together into the beautiful spring and plant some trees.

A Power of Birds

I love the wind--
the way it made our small red house moan,
and how, strangely enough, in the dead of an Alaskan winter,
on the cliff above the inlet,
that howling wind kept me warm as I slept,
dreaming of whales
deep in the icy sea
sending secret electric blue messages to their lovers.

The wind came from the sea my father said.
It kept us warm, kept us cold,
lifting a power of birds from the tundra
in September,
filling the skies with a black swooping migration,
leaving us with silence.

I followed those dark V-shaped clouds
pointing south like broken arrowheads.

In this new country, the worst inland storm
in eight years
leaves me shivering.

In a hundred years I will be dead,
silent beneath my tombstone
as the wind flashes through the sky,
carrying my ragged poems
on dirty sheets of paper,
scattering from all their safe havens
in all the trees I’ve planted,
a power of birds.



A power of birds is a flock of birds in flight.


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