Parrot in a Lab
His moss and spice feathers shine under a waterfall of moonlight in his cage. Hushed midnight, when hourglass sands have stilled. Words he has spoken during the day bud in his dreams, echo nanoseconds of electric touch, the scientist’s alien fingers. She gives him berries, nuts, water, gifts for his performance, his reading of cards, his recall of portraits. Colors attract him, magnets of ivory, sea grass, stone – replicas of a world he remembers inside his cells, that galaxy of macadamia limbs, monkeys, and vines built into his mitochondria.
Published by Christine
Christine Swint’s poems have appeared in Calyx, Birmingham Poetry Review, Slant, a Journal of Poetry, Tampa Review, Heron Tree, Ekphrasis, and others. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best New Poets, and she has won first place prizes from the Georgia Poetry Society and Agnes Scott College. Her first collection, Swimming This, was published in 2015 by FutureCycle Press. She teaches first-year composition at a metro-Atlanta university and writes about poetry, art, hiking, and yoga at Balanced on the Edge, https://balancedonedge.blog
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14 thoughts on “Parrot in a Lab, for Alex”
Vicarious yearning, memory shared because whether we realize it or not we are at one with all beings. With you, the parrot shares “replicas of a world he remembers inside his cells, that galaxy of macadamia limbs, monkeys, and vines.” lovely.
Lovely indeed. Good treatment of a fascinating subject. My only complaint is I wasn’t ready for the poem to be over so soon. I want more!
(Wow, look at that weird-looking fellow there above me!)
Well, Dave, I’ll have to write more, since you like the topic of parrots. Alex is one of my favorite animal celebrities.
And yes, that little dude has quite the green body!
I love this, Christine. Brilliant.
yes, this is fab, I’ve got a huge smile on my face. Wonderful writing, wonderful:
replicas of a world he remembers inside his cells, that galaxy of macadamia limbs, monkeys, and vines built into his mitochondria
Oh, I love it when people write well about animals. This is splendid, the language so lush. You really know how to create a character and inhabit it, even if that character is not human. Well done. Now write a hermit crab poem! 😉
Oops. I see Feldman got out again. That really is his comment, though. He loves poetry now. He can’t get enough of it.
wow!!! how many humans do you know personally that cant even do this!!!!! thanks for sharing!!!
I am in love with this poem, and the video is an added treat. My favorite lines are the ones Jo mentions.
Macadamia is such a beautiful word. But only you could turn that cool word into an even more beautiful image with “a galaxy of macadamia limbs.” And “moss and spice feathers” is perfect. I love how you bring the bird’s natural world into the scientific setting.
oh christine, this poem is so lush! i love the word macadamia too. and i want to steal alex for a day. only for a day. 🙂
Terrific poem bringing the reality of the bird together with his original place. Like Jo, I really like ‘ replicas of a world he remembers in his cells,…”.
It makes me sad that Alex looks so bedraggled, but how fascinating that like a child, being tested, he initiates avoidance behaviours. G
I know, G. In the video he kept saying,”want back.” Paisley, it’s true, he’s smarter than a good percentage of people, who don’t try to distinguish one thing from another.
And I’m glad I put ‘macadamia’ in this poem!