Spend Less Time with Nightingales and Peacocks. One is Just a Voice, the Other Just a Color – Rebecca Macijeski

~after Rumi

An ostrich is a racehorse made of feathers.

Bears are masters of slumber.
They hide themselves in caves all winter
reading the books of their dreams.

Toads have a slicker, muddier knowing.
They tell their stories in croaking,
stuck to the earth like stones.

Phoenixes can’t decide their fire.
They wake up some days already burning.

Sloths have nothing to do with sin.
Their knowledge of trees is simply to hold on.

Trees can reach beyond the earth
where they’re planted

like the earth beneath them
reaches beyond us
for the lights of other suns.

R MacijeskiRebecca Macijeski holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has attended artist residencies with The Ragdale Foundation, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Art Farm Nebraska. She has also worked for Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” newspaper column, as an Assistant Editor in Poetry for the literary journals Prairie Schooner and Hunger Mountain, and is the recipient of a 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize. Her poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, Poet Lore, Barrow Street, Nimrod, The Journal, Sycamore Review, Potomac Review, Storyscape, Fairy Tale Review, Puerto del Sol, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, and many others. Rebecca is Creative Writing Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Northwestern State University. Visit her online at www.rebeccamacijeski.com.