The Magpie

January 3, 2017

High aloft in his tree
Sits the clever magpie.
He has lived a long life,
For he knows the keys
To making your way in
This wicked world- or
At least so he says.

He will go on for days
On problems abroad,
Issues in Spain or France,
Knowing which province
Of Canada has the best
Varieties of shortbread.
But, in truth, he has
Never once left his tree.
He’s not been beyond
The edge of the woods
He was born within.

There is only so much
A bird can learn from
Dusty books and titles,
You must get out and
Spread your own wings
In order to ever truly
Understand our world.

MSBQ

The Luthier

November 9, 2015

Careful, nimble fingers
Remove her moonstone ring
And crack their knuckles in
Grinning anticipation:
This is her labor of love.

When first she started,
These thin planks and pegs
Were a tall maple, steadfast
Against time and winters
Generations old.

Each carving, each shred of
Timber lost is important;
The way her arms manipulate
Her tools and the wood is a
Testament to her skill.

The smell of wood glue fills
Her workspace, rosin and hope
Hold her together now. She is
As solid as the instruments
She so skillfully renders.

Now, finally, she can see
The finished product: each
String in place, bridge holding
More than just music, but also
My heart along with it.

MSBQ

Oolong

June 6, 2013

From a well-tended
Field to your
well-meaning hands,
I have one request:
Flatten me, but
Don’t roll me out.
Bring a kettle of
Cold, clear water
To barely a boil,
And lay me out in
A chipped teacup.
Very carefully,
Pour out the
Purified water
Over the leaves
Of my body.
When I have left
My essence inside,
Steeped out in a
Cloud of vapor,
Remove me and
Enjoy your labor.

And there, at the
End, you may read
My words like the
Dregs at the
Bottom of a cup.

MSBQ

Tŭng

October 9, 2008

originally written in February 2005

Your taster, it’s how you smell
it can be gentle as a dog’s
coarse as a cat’s
It can offend, defend, explore,
cut, rip, scare, tear a man in two.
It is the rail to which your words adhere
their Guide
It can be scorched or cut
yet it roasts itself;
Imprisoned behind a yellow palisade
white and crooked walls.
It can lift spirits, wake the dead,
carry someone higher than the stars.
You can speak in it, a consuming flame.
Be wary, for within that pink flesh
is great and glorious power.

MSBQ