From Viet Nam: A Poem Journey by Jenny Powell

Woman with Birds in her Head

She is the woman with birds
in her head.
At night they burst from their cage
and circle
her head, her hair branching
into rain forest green.

The birds flap in a festering
flutter of fear
looking for jungle dragons whose
orange breath
was fire across their feathers,
for the old black
thunder to fall through the sky.

For the birds their nightly release
is never
a flight to freedom,
her head
is their haven and hell,
her hair
where they perch in the dark.

The woman is used to the birds,
spirits of the dead
that sleep in the daytime nests
of her head.

Darkness dawns in a blaze
of light headedness
and a rush of wings.

Her dreams echo
with red noise.

Song of the Deep Moon

Fate carries us like a thousand clouds
to drift
to whisper under the breath
of wind
to float
across the dreaming sea.

When the wind rises and the sail
is full
I will follow you, pure star
of night
who guides me
across the vast sea.

Close to the hills of home I will
find you
where the light falls from darkness
in threads
of silk
tying us to the moon's song.

©Jenny Powell 2010