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Six Poems

Cervical Vertebra Variation (1) 

Syringes crescendo incrementally. Segmental sound drift. Rostrum-gist shifts from leading edge to trailing. Feathers shed antithetically (molto molting melodeon). 

Song of suction bellow and reed. Seven-process processional (one spinous, two transverse, four articular). Song of rachis and foramen. Spinal chorus.


Cervical Vertebra Variation (2) 

C2. Axis. Song cycle symphysis. The second cervical vertebra a pivot on which the air changes direction. Rotating wave

of Warblers. Palm Warbler’s 6-plume repetition. Yellow Warbler’s variable sweet-sweet-sweet. Caudal draft.


Cervical Vertebra Variation (3) 

Backward-fold the cervical atlas. The spinal incunabulum articulates the isochronal loral line. Hollow bone archaeology. Canarygrass reed, elemental cannulae, transitional fossil thoracentesis (Pulmonarius lithographica). Cryptic

Archaeopteryx. Air-swindler. Non-bird bird. First flight

fires the neural arch. Trachea-crammed turning radius (mesotarsal ankle joint notwithstanding). Windpipe fipple, stippled hum (hyoid hymnody). Os sacrum. Sacral canal. Holy bone. 



“… a magic carbuncle of flaming fire …” 
—Thomas Nuttall, Manual of the Ornithology of the United States and Canada, 1834


Lore (hummingbird) 

Deep-keeled. A nickel’s weight of charm and troubling. Airway territoriality. Pendulum arc bronchus flit. (Left, right, two-step flight.) Ventral symmetry. 

Vocal fold ventriculus: hover assimilates hum. Tin ear tune an agonistic buffer. 

Buzz note vocalization. Wing-box stammer. Stuttering chase call.


Lore (hummingbird) 

Three-gram refraction. (Pulsatively breathtaking.) The jewel-necked vocal nexus a complex harmonic of nectar and reflecting. Wings fan flashes of fire. Rapid 

hovering exhalations. 

Exhilaration of capillaries. Song sung Audubonic. Lyrically alveolaric. 

Colour flutters three hundred breaths a minute the lungs hum red. Glittering fragments. Vignetting gems.

Lore (hummingbird) 

Contradiction in terms of feet. Short-syllable Apodiforme. Choriambulatory chorus. Humming carbuncle. Tongue to the trumpet blossom. Flame-licked. (Ruby-tipped stylus.) 

Tap tap the bronchiole tree. Deoxygenated orchestral. Red sap surfs surfactant. Sip, hover, slip 

through windpipe and reed. Sound peregrination. 



Elliptically migratory. Follow the floral artery. Flight strung with Paintbrush, Blazing Star, Torch Lily. (Bloom synchronicity.) Crimson stung metabolic. 

Sylvia Legris's latest poetry collection is Garden Physic (New Directions).