The Sound of Pigeons in Flight

The sound of pigeons in flight
is the everyday beauty of the sky.
Like something which the wind has received,
the birds’ bright shapes are alive upon the wind.
Wheeling round, they come to earth,
better than amazement at a silent death,
and a mind of love and prayer is born.
I have seen no doubt in birds’ bodies.
The eyes of humans, alive as the birds, are bright.
A word wound, like an arrow wound, in their breasts.
In them, there is no desire for an arrow wound.
These dear people, like the birds, are shining, separate.
So the death of humans is secret and sweet.
They have a hidden and an ordinary joy, as though traveling to Heaven.
It is not base, not sad, not regrettable.
Around us, the deserters farewell them in prayer,
and, while the behaviors of birds and humans are different,
still, at the time of death, an image and the mind
are seen as a single path.
To leave the sinful earth is but one act.

April 1990