Poems by Andrena Zawinski

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Morning News

by Andrena Zawinski

From Canary Fall 2015

Andrena lives in Ballena Bay on Alameda, an island off the Oakland estuary in San Francisco Bay, where besides the regular stingrays floating by, an occasional seal wanders in under a boisterous Pacific Flyway.

This morning, the heron huddled into himself,
head buried deep inside the ruffled tuft,
long bill aimed at bracken edging the bog,
thin plume arched up in victory, having had his fill
of a new clutch of downy-backed ducks.

A tern picked open a stingray at low tide
at sunset, swatch of shoreline awash in blood,
and I watched the red of it, redder
than fishers’ rock cod off trawlers at Pillar Point,

merciless gulls a scramble of screeches
for castaway scraps. And just down the shore
a seal pup beached, face slit mouth to cheek,
hook bleeding the sand, flies a frenzy in its face.

This morning, life seems quite hopeless. Just listen
to the early news, how it uproots silence, sends it
wild as wing beats thrashing into the wind,
chipped by words, by the fact that
nature can be such a terrible beast.

On Ancient Wings

by Andrena Zawinski

From Canary February/March 2009

The little black grackles keep coming back
    for more.
They pick stale caramel corn from the sack,
them whole, toe-dancing snowdrifts, all bobs
    in the delight
of the find. Even city doves wait their turn
    in the blizzard
of birds, in the yes yes yes of it.
    One flies
a warning, yellow-eyed at my face, as if
    I would
rush her feathers for a spicy hat, her belly
    for a bit
of meat to glaze, breast a bone from which
   to pull a wish.
 From where I stand behind the window glass,
    it is only this
upon which I fix my eyes and my desire--
    the wind
along lacy wing bars, early light that flirts
    a wash
across the crown, sheen on bellies and bobs.
    If these                                
blackbirds survive the cold another morning,
    then so will I.
We have these things that hold us here,
    this watch,
sweet feast, the voiceless scavenging--
    the yes oh yes of it.

First published in Rockhurst Review, Vol 10

Out of Control or The Story of My Life in One Dream and Thirteen Lines

by Andrena Zawinski

From Canary December 2008

The road is never the same, never the same,
but the dream is, its ribboning s-curves
snaking bends and thin berms without guard rails,
foot at the gas instead of the brake,
fast enough to wheel into sky,
into its breathy blinding blue
taut canvas stippled by clouds,
the next scene a black screen
peppered with pixels of stars and flying
the mountain, valley, meadow, a range,
axel snapping, wheel locking, but flying
into sky cracked open by sun. Someone
is driving. It is not me. It is not me.

Reprinted with permission from Psychological Perspectives: A Semi-annual Journal of Jungian Thought

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