“The Naming” by Monty Jones

12 April 2019 on Poetry  

The birds confused him.
It was their overflowing presence
or their quick movements,
or he was color-blind
or tone-deaf, one of the senses
lacking something, unable quite
to make everything fit.
Each one had to have a name,
or what was it doing there?

One morning long ago
he had determined
to work on the warblers.
He gave it up when he realized
the only way to make progress
would be to learn taxidermy
and to kill a great many of them
and line them up in drawers
by their minute gradations.

He knew a giraffe when he saw one,
had no trouble with the big cats,
could separate the goats and sheep.
It was the birds that bothered him.
They wouldn’t stay in order.
It was as if they had no order,
but he knew better, knew
the trouble was with him,
his inability to understand.

Most people would say “bird”
and let it go, but he knew
he would have to answer
for his failure, some morning.
A voice would call to him,
as clear as a dove’s call
in the early coolness,
wanting to know, to know,
what he had been doing.


Monty Jones is a writer in Austin, Texas. His book of poems Cracks in the Earth was published in 2018 by Cat Shadow Press of Austin.

Virginia Sitzes received her BFA from the University of Oklahoma in 2017 and co-founded Art Group OKC. She currently resides in OKC where she is a practicing artist. Sitzes' work is process intensive. Through printmaking and painting she gives in to intuition and the natural effects of chemistry on paper. Sitzes finds relief in being consumed by the moment, and visually solves her questions. Sitzes creates paintings, prints, and merchandise that can be found and purchased online through her website. Her work reflects internal thoughts and processes, as well as fun and beauty that she finds throughout the world. See more work at virginiasitzes.com

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