Birds of Imagination

They strike the windows of my sleep / their reddest and most dreadful
The ends of their fish scaled beaks glitter

Wild and lonely / they have big maharajah eyes
Their magnetic crests, a dash of sparkle

Their bough necks stretch / to feathered reveries
They are like the red velvet tubes of lilac narghiles

Clouds change colour / as soon as they open their wings
On their elaborate feet, forked lightning boots

Dreadful green, they sing / the echo shrinking the horizon
Pierced, screaming, the bloody palms of the tyrant

Birds of imagination can’t be caught, they scatter turning into dust
To exist in freedom / their most unforgivable fault

Atilla İlhan (1925-2005). İmgelem Kuşları. Translated from the Turkish.

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