If I Took Flight
by Terrence Sykes

If I journeyed forth
on a pilgrimage
if a birdhouse
in the forest
was an altar
I prayed
to an avian god
I fly away
from this
effed up

PHOTO: “Birdhouse” by Marco Oliveira. Prints available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I took a stroll a couple years ago to Holmes Run  in the urban park that has kept my sanity for over 25 years…On this particular day I saw a dilapidated birdhouse and this poem just came to me in a flash…


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terrence Sykes was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of southwestern Virginia and this isolation brought forth the theme of remembrance to his creations, whether real or imagined. Though not traditional in his spiritual path, these  threads of his past are woven into his tapestry of writing. Terrence is a GASP — Gay Alcoholic Southern Poet and Italian by rebirth — who also does heirloom vegetable research and reintroduced Large Oxheart Cabbage to Jefferson’s Monticello . His poetry, photography, and flash fiction have been published in India, Scotland, Spain, and the USA.

PHOTO: The author at Santa Monica Beach looking across the Pacific Ocean (2013).