“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ Thrush Morning

Thrush Morning

by Ellen White Rook

          before dawn’s 
shell-shiny
start I notice 
winter damage
on the neighbor’s pine
the top blown 
into its own branches
and from within this high
dark tangle hear
a voice 
          he sings
a simple chord
two tones
or one 
so rich and pure 
it makes a layer
like the sound of light
enveloping
the moon
or fingers
on a soft 
cheek
          this small 
brown bird
offering the blossom
of almost spring
his split syrinx
captures all directions 
as the egg-sun 
oranges the broken tree
a dazzling parapet
commanding
his charmed
realm

Ellen White Rook

About Ellen White Rook

Ellen White Rook (she/her) is a poet and contemplative arts teacher living in upstate New York and southern Maine. Retired from a career in information technology, she now offers writing workshops and leads retreats that merge meditation, movement, and writing. Ellen is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at Lindenwood University. Her work has been published in New Verse News, Black Fork, New Note Poetry, The Banyan Review, Quibble, Trolley, and more. A collection of poems, Suspended, is forthcoming from Cathexis Press Northwest in 2023. Visit her website ellenwhiterook.com.

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