Light like Coal

So a friend of mine posted these very cool literal translations he learned the other day and I couldn’t help but work them into a poem.

“Tlingit meanings my elder friend Marie taught me yesterday (the two words are the same in Tlingit). A language rooted in this place:
black=coal
blue=bluejay
red=fire
green=jade
orange=alder
white=snow”

in the darkness of woodshed,
from light like coal
emerges jay, blue and rawkus
weaves its feathered wings
through red alder thicket
veiny green fluttering tree wings
soaring sunlight, climbing shadow
split but unstacked orange rounds
lay on the ground waiting for snow

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