My wingèd companions –
Enjoy whilst you can –
Your one advantage over man –
For you will find that elsewhere
Outside this realm in which we are living –
All sentient beings –
Come equipped with wings
05.18.95 – 05.26.95
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
Ever since I first saw birds and could remember, I have always wanted to fly like them. It’s not unnatural. I’m sure most people at some point in their lives have wanted to be able to fly like the birds. Humanity has always wanted to fly. The dream of flight was one of the great ancient quests that lasts till this day even when we could generally fly quite well in planes and such, but we still love to do it and want more flying power, still, to go farther, faster, higher, easier, more frequently, more independently of machines, or any combination of those and other adverbs.
I don’t know what I might have been looking at or thinking about but I had another epiphany moment to inspire this poem. Instead of looking at angels and devils and demons and such as they were, I just saw them all as human figures with wings. They all had wings. In that sense, I could generalize about the afterlife, at least in the Christian concept of going to Heaven or Hell, mixed in with mythology since I don’t think Christianity ever states you become an angel or devil/demon when you enter Heaven or Hell. With creatures in both realms having wings, then, one would be able to fly like the birds regardless of where one ended up in the afterlife.
Who said Hell was all bad?
The poem, as written, was then a statement of spite to the birds. You can almost see me reciting it with my fist clenched and pointing in the directions of the birds flying above me on a spring day. Yes, one day, I’ll be able to fly just like you birds, you. You just wait.
Birds go to Heaven and Hell when they die, too, don’t they?
The O-series of poems are one stanza poems composed before I got onto writing haiku and tanka, and short poetry while in action or traveling by select means like plane or ferry. These poems are 3-9 lines long with at least one rhyming couplet, and not of the short forms just mentioned. For the sake of elegance, I just called the collection One.