Poems by Bill Edmondson

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The Ephemeral Pond

by Bill Edmondson

From Canary Summer 2012

Bill lives directly in the path of Canada geese who've long abandoned migration between Canada and South America in favor of a comfortable daily commute between Sebastapol and Santa Rosa, California.

Broad leaves of the sycamore
that kept the water cool
that floated down as food
and gave the larvae of caddis fly a home
are curling

Under this downpour of heat
eggs along the backs of leaves
dry into rows of code
tadpoles die in their spawn
and the clearing cloud of sperm
from the last orgy of salamanders
drifts sedate unattached

The pond dies from its margin
Mud begins to crack
Those that prey are caught
with the rest of the dead

The Funeral Bird

by Bill Edmondson

From Canary Fall 2012

The black mamo (or funeral bird)
one of many blown away—scraps of discarded songs—
so friendly he perched on our shotgun
and sang to us his whistling note
We had to shoo him to shoot him
While he was here his curving beak
sucked from the mouth of the lehua bloom
While powder from the petal’s cheek
dusted his shoulders
He carried life from plant to plant
Now the last three mamos sleep
in plastic bags in drawers in the Bishop Museum

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