Diane Klammer


(listen to the poem, read by the author)

Maybe it’s birdsong, as
to own a bird, I must live
in a house of glass walls.

Once sciatica became mine,
it became mine forever.
Birdsong can be piercing,

especially in night’s awakening.
Birdsong can be soothing.
What is that warbler’s message?

Call it a neural communication,
a sharp throb to tell me
to stop doing whatever

I am doing. A lengthy story
of what will happen if
I persist with the same

motion, firing axons
and dendrites warning
me not to keep going.

Call it mitochondrial zap,
a kick in the back
with steel booted shoes.

Call it the red yellow
green light of throb,
the on again off again.

Call it gratitude
when it fizzles out-
dissipates- gives way-

a space to stretch out again
like a heron in flight, a
Great Blue with piercing

beak which can put out an eye,
but when the heron flies from
its nest to land on a pond,

call it interlude between pain,
a flight from tree nest to lake
Call it relief -the water-dance,

that swim to relieve the burning
When the herons are joined by
a flock of white pelicans,

we are all synchronized
swimmers in water the pool.
When I swim, I am flying, as

a heron flies on the air’s currents,
looking down into aqua blue depths,
looking up to sky as feather clouds

change shape before my eyes.
Call it lightning and thunder,
before the burning returns,

when we all must get out
to shore for safety reasons.
Call it weight of the world,

when I climb out on ladder
one step at a time- to be
earthbound, trapped again like

a heron again walking on
land looking uncomfortable.
Agony immediately descends.

It is a long distance back,
not a mere squint through
binoculars as far becomes near.

Call it success- to make it
through another moment. Call it
jellyfish sting. Call it fire ant bite.

Call it pillow down, when sleep
robs the hurt- erases the pain
as I magic carpet my dreams.

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About the Author

Diane Klammer is a poet, painter, singer songwriter and former Mental Health Counselor and Biology teacher. Her work has appeared widely in the United States and Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, and Australia. She was nominated for a Pushcart and has two books of Poems: Shooting the Moon (Monkey Puzzle Press, 2009) and Love, Love, Meditations on Love, Sports and Relationships (2021). Recently her work has appeared in Lummox, Avocet, Open Earth Eco Poems, Rattle, Spaces, and In New Light by Open Minds Quarterly. She is currently working on a book in neurodiversity. She tries to approach her work with compassion and humor. She believes people of all backgrounds enrich the ongoing conversation of poetry.