Donaldson, Elizabeth. “A Parrot’s Quill.” Voices of Victory: Representative Poetry of Canada in War-time. Ed. Canadian Authors Association. Toronto: Macmillan, 1941. 53.

Another poem from this elusive author…

A Parrot’s Quill

Across my palm there lies
Consummate in colouring and tracery
A parrot’s quill;
Splashed with the blood of ruby,
Bluer than turquoise,
Greener than malachite;
A radiant thing
Beyond the skill of human fashioning.

So still it lies,
I hardly dare to breathe
For fear it suddenly
May gather wings in flight,
And so dissolve again in beams of light.

While I marvel so
I fain would know
From what ancestral cell
Was born this miracle,
That in the cradle of the sun
Found nurture for the pith
And colour for the vanes;
And I would know
Upon what ancient loom
The pattern grew
Slowly, patiently,
Till time evolved the whole;
Blending in delicate nuances
Rhythm and light together,
Counting a million years
To weave a feather.