Sunday, July 20, 2014

Scent of a Feather

Scent of a feather - image created for my poem.


I left the stray cat
secret bowls of milk
and it decided to stay,
following the scent
to my spirit house,
stalking the golden birds
who flew through my
open windows, who
stirred the air
with trees and prayer,
their wing tips dipped
in the sacred source
I yearned for.

And of course
the cat stayed, it
was such a safe place
curled up in the curve
of my marrow, its eyes
now aglow with the
colors of my soul.
If people can carry
the scent of their poems,
mine now smelled
of lingering feathers
on a feral tongue.

But I'm weary of feeding
my hollowest friend,
furring my air
with its delusions.
I pray it soon leaves,
I won't weep or grieve.
I yearn again for
the golden wings
filling my lungs with
their secrets, with
the scent of God,
with their essence of
bark and beak.

© Sherri Brannon 2014

Your head is a living forest full of song birds. ~e.e. cummings

My poems sometimes take on the scent of anxiety, which I personally have always struggled with. Do your poems have a scent?

I love that e.e. cummings describes how our head is a "forest full of song birds". And anxiety is kind of like a stray cat, don't you think? A stray cat has no home base until someone offers up a food source. That offering becomes an open invitation and it starts hanging around. And then it can't help itself...instinct kicks in and it starts preying on all the song birds in the neighborhood, those beautiful winged creatures that until now flew with a lot more fearlessness and freedom. Anxiety and fear (which I believe are the same thing) prey on our thoughts if we let them. They keep us from having faith that we can fly.

My iPhone image was edited completely with camera apps: Snapseed, Stackables, Mextures, Pictapgo, and Superimpose. The feather photo was actually taken against a black piece of cardstock, but the apps I used turned the background more colorful. The writing in the background is from an old 1800s book.

I'm linking up with Poets United today - please visit and read some great poetry!

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore


  1. "my hollowest friend" - that is so much a cat. Liked the poem, loved that phrase.

  2. Interesting to think about the scent that a poem has. I really like "lingering feathers on a feral tongue."

  3. love the metaphors.. and the images.. the poem flows well.

  4. you've used perfect examples to express your inner thoughts...i love this longing for freedom at the well crafted...

  5. Beautiful imagery of scents & colors ~ My favorite part is the ending lines ~ Nice to meet you at Poets United ~

  6. So thought-provoking and such a beautiful image.

  7. I love birds... Not much of a cat person ... Can relate to your poem .. Cats are cod!

  8. I feel for the stray who finally knew warmth and acceptance, even though I know cats and birds can not often stay in the same place. You have captured an ancient dilemma here, one that pertains to our partners and friends, but also one that pertains to the Gaza/Israel border and the USA/Mexican border. Will we ever find a way to have both? And of yes, the scents! Brilliant.

  9. Great insight Sherri. It causes the mind to think. Intelligently.


  10. This poem takes my breath away, Sherri.....I love the open windows, the golden blown away by "If people can carry
    the scent of their poems,
    mine now smelled
    of lingering feathers
    on a feral tongue."

    A brilliant piece of work.

  11. I wish the heart was a safe heaven for both the stray cat and the golden birds.

  12. I always love reading your work. There is such an ease in the flow of this for me--beautiful writing!

  13. This is stunning poetry - one of the best pieces I have read all week. I love each stanza and the sure progression of the main idea through to the end.

  14. I enjoyed the poem and your process notes. Interesting that you used a stray cat as a metaphor for anxiety. I know what you mean. When we "feed" into our fears, they are magnified. Best to be free of them. Lovely imagery and artwork :)

  15. Sherri,
    So loved both the photo and poem.

  16. Your lines do have a scnt ! so full of wonderful imagery it :-)

  17. You write IN poetry, whilst I can only write about it. Very impressive and I like the fifth sense, smell, that you have drawn into this.Such an influential sense in our perceptions, but sadly one which can only clumsily be expressed most of the time.

  18. i feel as if this was written for me. an anxiety disorder has lived with me since i was a child - a bad one, one that requires medicine. i've always said there was a little girl inside me, trying to protect me from things i really didn't need protecting from, and because i invited her in, she is hard to say goodbye to.

    she is the cat and i am the one who left the secret bowls of milk. i am knocked out by this poem, and your words after the poem. you've given me a new way to think of anxiety. i'm picturing it sleeping most of the day.

  19. def a cool thought that a poem might have a colors the read....
    i rather like the stray cats that visit hollowest friend line caught me...
    tight piece...

    sorry i am late...we have no internet connection where we are on vacation....

  20. your poem has a very beautiful scent..wonderful lines..