The Rosetta Stone for Birdcalls
is the Rosetta Stone for Human Suffering. Caw = territorial
outrage. Musical flutings upwards = the days of summer are always
declining. Peep = hunger. Barrage of chips = desperate hunger.
Who? = the nest has been abandoned. Varied pipings =
I surrender my eggs to a predator. Grates & rusty
noises = the distance between us can only be managed by violence.
Trill = inadequacy of desire. Low whistles = difficulties with
lice, with bacteria, with fungus, etc.
No such stone ever hewn would translate lightning or torrent
a million years elicits. No such stone would bear the
incisions of the master's awl.
Such a stone would serve instead as instruction manual for building
pyramids & museums.
When the accipiter in its suicidal plummet snatches the finch,
what instrument measures the strum of the vibrating airs? Who sees
the God who plucks this lute?
From Depth Theology © 2006 by Peter O'Leary. Published by the University of Georgia Press and used by permission.