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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication by King Features.

Falling Peacock in Rainstorm at Night

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, June 30, 2016.
About this Poem 

“This poem is the first in a sequence of curing ragas, written during a period when my husband of forty years was very ill. The images are taken from 16th century Mughal Ragamala paintings that happened to be on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, where we were living at the time.”
—Margarita Boyers

Falling Peacock in Rainstorm at Night

My tail of colored feathers
hangs matted
closed behind me

It weighs me down

In this wet darkness
I can neither
dance nor fly

This darkness
weighs me down

No one here
to see my splendor

My only company
the relentless rain  

Together
we fall from the sky
toward the darkening wood

The leafy trees below
reach out to catch me
but cannot    

Between their outstretched
limbs I travel
like a stone

The swallows
sitting safely in their nests
sleep the sleep of the oblivious
innocent
of cellular divisions
silent metastasis

Their oblivion weighs me down     

Only the insomniac owl
watches     ever alert
for the kill

My famous feathery tail-eyes
are folded inward
blind to possibility

I am falling         falling away—
escaping at last
this monsoon sickness
 
sing me a raga        spin
me a garland
oh earth
but do not yet welcome me

Show me the sun.

Copyright © 2016 by Margarita Boyers. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 30, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Margarita Boyers. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 30, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.