Word Poetry




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Sample Poems by Meredith Davies Hadaway

Blank Pages

Everything begins as white--
the mug before the coffee fills it,

the sink before we pour the coffee out,
a lampshade, white before we turn

it gold with reading. A mind of
Wallace Stevens wrote,

before we filled our minds with
Wallace Stevens.

A Cardinal, Hurling Himself at My Window

I'm told he sees his own reflection in the glass
as a competitor, a bird he must face down--

i'm not so sure. This morning, there's the sound
again--despite a sleep-soaked overcast,

the house still dark inside. Thwap!--a blast
of beak so loud it echoes all around

the kitchen where i dump my coffee grounds
into the sink--tap, tap, tap--a last
clump clings to the filter. Thwap!--another
protest. A fierce red warning at the blurred

edge between his world and mine. Thwap!--see?
My outline floats above the sill. His hovers.

The Book of Omens
"Falnama," Sackler Gallery

It's not the pictures I am
drawn to, but the words I cannot

read. The pattern-work,
calligraphy in foreign tongues

so that the swirl and swoosh of stroke
and ink are only that. Free

of the burden of message, letters
wheel across the page like

starlings, orbit
dots and dashes, turn

sideways on a chisel-edge
until they nearly

plummet, fat

and black, as if their density
alone portends an urgency.

Whatever it is has already come
to pass. Flies beyond

me, doubles
back, will come



Each day I watch the pigeons flocking back
and forth across the bridge in a synchronistic

spin as if the sky were breathing in and
out each feathered body.

One white bird punctuates
the otherwise gray exhalation.

I remember reading that medieval kings
would keep a pure white bird to look

them in the eye when they fell ill, absorb
their sickness, then fly away, releasing all

disorder to the heavens. Driving home
at dusk I see the pigeon cloud repeat its

sweep across the sky--but this time,
no white bird.

I grip the wheel and feel the rise of dread
and hope in perfect equilibrium.

Another round of pigeon calisthenics.
Going out. Coming in. A simple exercise

to wing the heart through
each extremity.