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Poem: "Like the Two Wings of a Bird" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Like the Two Wings of a Bird"
This poem came out of the April 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "color" square of my 3-30-14 card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.

"Like the Two Wings of a Bird"

Ali had always been
a little different, a little special,
somewhere between male and female,
masculine and feminine and
more ineffable things.

It was hard in the mainstream world,
people so concerned about sex and gender
and insisting that Ali check this box or that one
when neither of them were ever correct.
The constant requirement to lie was exhausting.

So Ali took a position at
the House of Worship in Wilmette where
people were more interested in holy things
than what was under a stranger's clothes.

When the Fledging came,
Ali sprouted cardinal feathers,
which surprised nobody --

the bright scarlet of a male
on the right wing and half the tail,

the subtle buff of a female
on the left wing and other side of the tail.

What was so confusing to some humans
was perfectly clear to God,
who now painted the lines for all to see.

"You should go to Haifa,"
said the local Spiritual Assembly,
"so that more people can read
the message in your wings."

Ali went to the World Centre
and served as a guide
for those on pilgrimmage,
beginning each speech
with the quote,

“The male and female
are like the two wings of a bird
and when both wings are reinforced
with the same impulse
the bird of humanity will be enabled
to soar heaven-ward to the summit of progress.”

* * *


The Baha'i Faith upholds the equality of women and men, often expressed as the two wings of a bird.

A gynandromorph exhibits a division between male and female halves, as in this cardinal.

The Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois is a beautiful architectural and landscaping marvel, whether or not you are interested in the very sane religion inside. The sign out front says "All are welcome," and they mean it.

The Baha'i Centre in Haifa has both administrative and spiritual aspects, providing a focal point for the religion.

Baha'i administration is based primarily on Assemblies of people who make decisions together.

Pilgrimmage is an aspect of Baha'i practice.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
From: rhodielady_47 Date: April 5th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Good poem!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 5th, 2014 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you liked it.
From: technoshaman Date: April 6th, 2014 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh. Today I have learnt something... about some distant friends, who are Baha'i. Very, very cool people.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 6th, 2014 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm happy when people learn something from what I write. Baha'i folks are cool in my experience too.
4 comments or Leave a comment