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Posts Tagged ‘bird’

IMG_6144

 

 

Today I take the courage I don’t feel

and the resilience I doubt and

all my unspent longing to serve,

and I bring them, cupped in my hands,

to the garden. They nestle there in my palms

like three baby birds that have not yet

opened their eyes. I take them to hear

the pungent song of the garlic shoots

and the thriving chives who chant

how to survive the winter.

I bring them to hear the strawberry leaves

who sing how to flourish despite the frost.

and the old song of chicken manure

and composted grass that hum about

how old life begets new life.

And they open their tiny beaks,

as if they could eat the green song.

How vulnerable they are.

So I open to the song, too.

I do what must be done.

I take in the nourishing song,

and feed them with my own mouth.

 

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IMG_5973

 

 

Even as the snow was falling,

the birds in the branches

kept singing into morning,

easing their bright notes

into the thin gray spaces

between snowflakes.

 

There are days, imagine,

when the birds go unheard.

And it isn’t for lack of song—

the single note chirp

of sparrow, the bass of raven,

the chickadee’s hey swee-tee.

 

Some gifts come only

when we stay in one place,

come only when we are alone,

come only when we stop praying

to be somewhere else and instead

pray to be here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And while I am at it, I should like to send you

a postcard from the shores of my body,

wish you were here, it is warm and there

are so many places for us to explore

together—but even as I write these words

the letters grow ink dark wings and fly

over the sea, a colony of cormorants,

silent as they soar, and I a beach with no footprints,

the waves lapping, everywhere the scent, the sting of salt.

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And so, although

there’s so much

work to do,

I step outside

and let February

have its way

with me—cold,

dusted with snow.

Hard to believe

anything can grow.

But singing high

in cottonwood trees

are the chickadees.

 

It’s not hard

to think, This

is the most

important thing I

can do today.

I think it

until I forget

to think it,

until I am

simply standing there

in winter air

pledging my ears

to the sound

of the birds—

 

such a simple

song. Funny no

part of me

longs for other

work. Funny how

soon it becomes

everything.

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The pelican dives

into the water,

rises again. Hovers.

Dives. Rises.

Each time, the water is quick

to forget the intrusion

loses its ripples,

stills. A thought

is a kind of a pelican.

A woman is a kind

of a bay. The pelicans

will always dive.

The bay will always

return to stillness.

A woman might

learn to live this way.

 

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Yes

 

 

It could happen any time, tornado, earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.

                       — Yes, William Stafford

 

 

It’s Saturday and I’m choosing to sit on a broken fence,

the logs all weathered and fallen.

I am choosing to sit in the sun on a broken fence

beside a dirt parking lot in a high desert.

Perhaps I do not really believe

that this is the only moment that matters?

Perhaps I don’t trust that I could be gone,

that all life could be gone in one blink,

in one bomb, in one meteorite.

 

Or is it that I choose to sit on a broken fence

beside a dirt parking lot with the scent of pine

edging each breath and the sound

of cottonwood leaves rustling then stilling

because this, too, matters, this willingness

to treat each breath as if it were the first,

to treat each place as if it is the last

and give it my full attention. To be like the birds

sitting on the barbed wire knowing now, now

is the moment to sing.

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One Rusty

 

 

 

stumbling through

the Moonlight Sonata

while outside the window

a twilight birdsong—

not one note out of place

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From eggs

the size

of small

jelly beans

come these

two beaks

that peak

beyond the

edge—today

they save

me, these

two tiny

wingless things.

Even this

bruised heart

remembers how

to marvel.

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Absence

 

 

The bluebirds return.

It never occurs to me to chastise them for leaving.

It’s what they do.

 

All day, I think

of their shallow wing beats,

their slow flight,

 

their bright blue fluttering,

and how easily, how instantly yesly

my heart rises up to meet them.

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One Trick

 

 

seeing them on the branch

the bright yellow tanagers

gone until summer

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