What’s it like to be a human the bird asked

What’s it like to be a human
the bird asked

I myself don’t know
it’s being held prisoner by your skin
while reaching infinity
being a captive of your scrap of time
while touching eternity
being hopelessly uncertain
and helplessly hopeful
being a needle of frost
and a handful of heat
breathing in the air
and choking wordlessly
it’s being on fire
with a nest made of ashes
eating bread
while filling up on hunger
it’s dying without love
it’s loving through death

That’s funny said the bird
and flew effortlessly up into the air

~ Anna Kamienska, from “Funny

Notes: Poem via Alive on All Channels. (Thanks Beth). Art by Klára Piknerová (via Your Eyes Blaze Out)


  1. This is very good

    Liked by 1 person

  2. we are difficult to understand, and a living jumble of contradictions

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We soar too – albeit with way less certainty…

    Liked by 1 person

    • And that’s where he arrives in my imagination, my mad grandfather, a blur-boy of white singlet and shorts, short sharp hair, blue eyes, charging like a knight towards an invisible enemy. There’s no one watching. It’s just him after school on a grey afternoon. Blackbirds have settled on the playing fields. The bounce of his stride echoes in the pole. It’s not fibreglass but wood. The wind must think it’s a mast and he a sail too small for lifting. His pace quickens, his knees lift, the blackbirds turn. Down the cinderway he comes, crisp crunch-crunch-crunch, man on the end of a stick. Mouth pursed out and open he blows a wind-note with each step, whuu-whuu-whuu, announcing himself, warning the air that he is coming. His eyes are locked on the concrete trap. It’s his entranceway. The pole lowers, wavers slightly. A hard clack is the last sound Grandfather hears on earth. And here he is, Abraham in lift-off, his soul bubbling as he climbs, entering the upper air with perfect propulsion and ascension both. An instant and he no longer needs the pole. Hands it off. It falls to ground, a distant double-bounce off the solid world below. The blackbirds take fright, rise and glide to the goalmouth. Amazement blues my grandfather’s eyes. He’s at the apex of a triangle, a pale angular man-bird. His legs air-walk, his everything unearthed as he crosses the bar above us all. There is a giddy gulp of the Impossible and he sort of rolls over in the sky, pressed up against the iron clouds where God must be watching. His mind whites out. His body believes it is winged, has vaulted into some other way of being. Abraham Swain is Up There and Away, paddling the air above the ordinary and just for a moment praying: let me never fall to earth.

      ~ Niall Williams, History of the Rain. (Bloomsbury Publishing. May, 2014)

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I need to talk to that bird, same bird.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the perspective of this poem. Thanks for the beautiful words this Sunday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Being a human is unfathomable – a challenge to the conception of why we are here in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How interesting. Never asked myself how we feel fom a bird’s view point…. shows a bit our very limits in just about everything, doesn’t it!?
    Love this and also your 2nd poem. Happy Sunday.

    We are nearing ours – in Switzerland it’s ‘Thanksgiving’ but it’s actually called ‘Thanks-, Repentance- and Prayer-Day’ – only we call it in short Prayer-Day. Isn’t that interesting too? I would have thought that it’s mostly Thanksgiving and boy, are there so many reasons for being thankful!!!! In France we shall have our Thanksgiving on the first Sunday of October….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your poem in a nutshell? “It’s complicated.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. *Nodding* Yes. Cher xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Being human is complicated

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Birds are funny”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I so love this one, DK

    Liked by 1 person

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