After nearly three years of trying, I’ve finally managed to land another poem in Rattle’s ‘Poets Respond’ series. I love this series; the poems chosen are often excellent (and always interesting), poetic responses to the weekly news cycle. “Still” was my response to the deadlock of the 2020 election: exhausted, burned out and anxious for them to “call it”, the nine lines wrote themselves largely unconsciously – as so often happens with poetry – as I looked out the window and noticed birds still chirping away in the trees.
(I read the poem on Rattle’s Open Mic for Sunday November 8, 2020.)
There are still birds, still things coming to life
in unexpected ways. Still nights and days.
Nocturnal, diurnal. Circadian rhythms
scratching an itch at the back of the throat.
Still family, still friends. Still love
slapping you silly with its rubber tongue,
salt that makes your stomach sing a psalm,
palettes of rusted foliage, stray bees
in November, still buzzing in the lavender.