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Bluebirds of Grief

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

Bluebirds of Grief

Along a snow-crusted fast food drive through lane

Two holly bushes prickle in the cold.

Evergreen leaves enfold an offering of snow and red fruit-

Sparks in the grey morning.

A stormy-sky feathered being alights

On the thorny branch.

Her soft persimmon blush of round belly

Now held in the open palms of the holly

Trusts and invites.

My mouth drops in wonder behind the mask I wear.

A bluebird.. “of happiness” and now?

Courageously, she plunges in beak-first,

Plucks the berry, swallows the spark.



The holly comes alive

With twenty-one bluebirds!




a flurry of feasting.

They have made an oasis of frozen black-top tundra.

I roll down my window, pull down my mask.

Inhale sharp cold air.

Swallow the spark of their gift.

Bluebirds of grief,

Twenty-one healers,

Consolation blazes in my sorrowful heart.

This poem is written in gratitude to the drive-through bluebirds that appeared when I most needed them. In Tibetan Buddhism, Tara is the Mother of all Buddhas, a symbol of Primordial Wisdom. Twenty-one is the number of Taras each of whom address a specific place of pain, fear, or suffering for sentient beings. I see Love embodied in these fragile sentient beings, a symbol of Tara’s love, of Divine Love however you might understand it. I hope that they find their way to my bird feeder and my backyard holly tree so that I might return their gift with my offerings.

Justin is a Spiritual Companion in training with Oasis Ministries, on the Dharma path with the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and profoundly curious about how Spirit works in each person’s life.


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