John Blair


​​When you were a bird you
                             wanted anything but

blue. The woods were broken
                             apostate into grown

and other and between
                             the trees promises flew

like too many cousins
                             who had no time to stay

beyond each flickered now.
                             When you were a stone you

shimmered with dull and gave
                             nothing away, all of

it, until nothing was
                             precious enough to leave

on its own. When you were
                             a seed you broke one day

into someone’s green hands,
                             and watched while finger by

finger long feathers grew
                             ​into raptures of wild

and seductions of blue.

John Blair has published six books, the most recent of which is Playful Song Called Beautiful (U. of Iowa Press, 2016), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize.  He’s published poems & stories in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, The Antioch Review, New Letters, and elsewhere, & he directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Texas State University.