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Fr. Kurt Messick

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Five Dog Night Volume One: The First Year
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A courageous woman flees an abusive spouse with her five dogs. Leaving Edmonton,Alberta, it takes her a year to reach Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her dog team pulls her on a ..  
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The last bird of the season...
by Fr. Kurt Messick
Not rated by the Author.
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Recent poems by Fr. Kurt Messick
•  never knowing
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A little experience


Last night,

as I was leaving seminary

I saw the bird there,

huddled on the ground -

no obvious injuries,

dazed and a bit stunned.


Birds fly into the windows



Sometimes they are stunned,

sometimes they die instantly,

sometimes they end up here,

huddled on the ground.


I couldn’t leave her on the concrete.

She couldn’t fly away.

Perhaps she knew I wasn’t going to hurt her,

as she didn’t try to get away.


She had pretty feathers,

she had pretty eyes,

she had a calm expression,

a gentle spirit.

She must have looked wonderful in flight.


But here she was;

she couldn’t fly,

she couldn’t even really stand.


I got a box from inside

and scooped her up.

I live an hour away

and have a friend who might help.


We drove along,

the usual radio noise silenced.

I talked gently to my feathered passenger.

She sat in the box.

She listened.


I worried what I would do if I couldn’t reach my friend,

I worried about how I would take care of a bird.

How would my cats react to this intruder?

The bird said not word

as we drove into the night.


I said little silent prayers

and hoped God would listen,

and at one point God did.

My beautiful bird gave a short sweet sound,

closed her eyes and moved no more.


God brought his precious creature home.

I no longer had to worry about helping.


The little sound was not goodbye,

it was not thank you,

it was not meant for me.

I knew there were birds in the world

as we all do

but I had never known this bird was in the world

and now, she is no longer.


Her last moments were spent with me,

riding in the dark car,

safe from animals or others who might do harm;

she didn’t even know me

and that is just as well.


I hope she’s flying safely now

where glass will never fool her

where her songs may continue,

and I hope that one day I will hear them

and see her

so that I may say thank you to her.

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Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 9/27/2006
...and she knew...

Reviewed by m j hollingshead 9/10/2004
well done
Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson 9/8/2004
And your heart sings wonderful tunes too, Father! I think that this experience was somehow a blessing to both you and the bird ... and also to your readers. Thank you!
Reviewed by Lori Moore 9/8/2004
This is a beautiful poem, Father.
Reviewed by Zenith Elliott 9/6/2004
Fr. Messick, this is a wonderful heartfelt write. This touched my heart and soul, I thank you for posting this...~Z~
Reviewed by Katy Walsvik 9/6/2004

As I read, I felt this burrowing, invited, into my heart. It is quiet, gentle and so vivid that I now find myself emotionally upside down, quite drenched in tears and goosebumps AND wearing a smile.

I'm a longtime friend of Ed Kostro's, so my stopping by wasn't entirely by chance, since he mentioned how he admired your work. Having said that, I am on my own here, and I'm telling myself that sometimes I 'get it right'... like now.

This will go to my library. It will be shared with many. Yes, because of this beautiful story, layered with applications to life, itself, but also yes, to its phrasing and purely poetic soul. You are a lovely person, indeed! katy xox.
Reviewed by Bonnie Torrente 9/5/2004
Lovely Kurt,
I'm an animal lover and have had many die in my arms.
I owe a lot of "thank you's", as I never thought of
their last moments in this manner.
Thank You too, for the enlightment.

Love, Bonnie
Reviewed by Theresa Koch 9/5/2004
This was beautiful writing~`*
Reviewed by Candida Eittreim 9/4/2004
Lovely work Father Messick. You will hear her song in every bird, and know she is safely home.

Reviewed by Regis Auffray 9/4/2004
Sweet write. Very similar to the one that I posted and that came to me so recently. Love and peace to you Fr. Kurt. Regis
Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero 9/3/2004
Hi! Read your comments on Regie's bird poem, and had to come in and read yours. I think every one, human or animal, will live and die according to His purpose and our lives are touched by them. I enjoyed reading this poem -- glad I stopped by.

Carmen :-)
Reviewed by Dawn Richerson 9/3/2004
I hope she’s flying safely now
where glass will never fool her

Fr. Kurt, I have a feeling she is. Perhaps she'll sing to you? Dawn
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 9/3/2004
Heart touching write!
Reviewed by A PAX 9/3/2004
That is so lovingly told. You connected! Cause and effect......kindness and deed......I used to live in Manhattan, and my father was a waiter. He would walk home very late at night from the restaurant,and dogs & cats used to follow him home. We would wake up in the morning with strange house guests. LOL The kids in my neighborhood knew that if they found a hurt animal, to bring them to our apartment. We wound up with a sparrow had tar on its feet, I don't remember what my father did to it to clean it off, but it eventually was able to fly away. I was alittle disapointed, I figured I could name it tweety bird and have a eventually they went out and got me a canary......oh my ......I have rambled..........
your write brought all these memories to mind.....ty for the flashback.......pax........A
Reviewed by Susan Barton (Reader) 9/3/2004
Sweetly told. Thank you.

Reviewed by John Prockner 9/3/2004
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 9/3/2004
Your experience, and your poem, are extremely touching, Fr. Kurt. And I thank you for sharing this.

I've often done the same thing, and the poor creature has died, and I've felt miserable about it - feeling totally helpless.

Your last stanza reminds me that maybe these creatures are flying high now, in a much better place. And like you, I truly hope that I can see them again someday.
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