Orpheus Bluejay


My shadow has no calories,

so I peel it off the front porch

and pour it in my coffee cup.

You say it can’t be done?

I just did it,


It peers at me

like the unsettled pupil

of a great bird.

Lights out and shadow springs

from all corners —

an erotic sovereign

of the nightsweats.

Which of us is who then?

But now is just plain now,

all around the universe,

so who is that naked

on my roof again?

Orpheus Bluejay! — you blurred bird.

We hear the surround-sound

of your beedle-beedle, your tulili,

but where is your rakish sky-blue beret?

Where your exotic North Woods eyeliner?

Where your wings, beak and grabby black birdfeet?

Your look’s askance


your look’s direct,

and in the name of the euphoria

that opens and fills the hole in our soul

your bluejay blue gems

will not lock-in.

Perch close, perch in the air, if you must,

but endow us with your cadenza

   … … …  … … …

And may all our days be wing’d animation,

and all our nights a heavy levitation.

Steve Elder is in charge of Tea Service at the University of Colorado Law Library.

Previous articleWhat to do when there’s ‘nothing’ to do. . .
Next articleRed flag laws are saving lives. They could save more.