To Orioles Flit-Flirting in the Sun

Were I decreed a free choice of fate,
Insouciant orioles! We shall be one!
Gold-tainted-black, early morn or late,
I flit-flirt with you in the sun.
No gravity of custom flags me down
No laws forbid me to fly, flit or flirt
My heart is my soul; my head my crown;
My wings abhor human dirt.
No king lords over me but the sun
No queens look askance but the moon,
No gods forge me since time began
The embryonic egg that hatch a zoon.
I rise to my height; no winds fetter;
No out-of-bound markers letter
Where I nest, banish where I go –
I am my god that makes me so.
I shall never sing in a netted cage;
Death knows not the pain of chain.
In infrangible sun, moon and rain
I fly; freedom my wager and wage.

Notes for To Orioles Flit-Flirting in the Sun
The black nape orioles are incredibly playful birds – for this reason, they are this poet’s favorite bird for they symbolize all that is free and untainted notwithstanding that their nape is ‘tainted’ with black.
Insouciant; free from anxiety and worries
Gold-tainted-black: the colors of the black nape oriole
Flit-flirt: paired orioles commonly flirt in playful flight
Gravity: seriousness, an intended pun – gravity as a force pulls one down
Flags: to weigh or pull down
Abhor: hate; loathe
Height: symbol of fulfillment
Zoon: an animal developed from a fertilized egg
Out-of-bound markers: markers placed on a golf course
Infrangible: unbreakable; incapable of being broken

This poem is part of the Poetry Book Arrow of Time

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4 Comments on "To Orioles Flit-Flirting in the Sun"

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Jim Slaughter

Lawrence, I really enjoyed reading this piece. From the title and “flit-flirting” I expected something light and airy-no pun intended-but I got so much more. You very nicely painted a picture of what it must/might be like to fly “free as a bird”. I love “freedom my wager and wage”, but in Line 12, there seems to be something amiss with the verb.

Jim Slaughter

Lawrence, the line is fine as it is–I like “embryonic” –no need to change that. It was just the verb form: “hatched” would be the correct form, unless you want to make it present tense, where it would be “hatches”. Still and all a lovely write.


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