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