Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Words for Cup and Water

Stepping through the dream wall
President Lincoln cradles his cat named Bob.

Droplets of rain shine on the Hemlock tip, which
reached my bedroom window just this year.

Old beveled mirrors still shimmer
no matter what they reflect,
drugstore, library, bookshop.

All carry magazines, hopes and dreams
one long loop running down,
streamlets in the mist.

I make a nest with my hands and
try to capture the mood of the mountain.

The President says, “Don’t bother,
we have work to do.”

Instead, Bob washes, framed by evening light.
We all pause for a moment,

watch a female white-rumped Harrier glide
golden over marshy fields opening

before our eyes. Sleeves rolled up,
possibilities begin to appear nearby.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Taking Flight

I’m moving house in about ten days, across town near where I work. So near in fact that my commute will be somewhere between 3 and 4 minutes on foot!

Besides working on my poetry and practicing yoga, I intend to spend the “extra” time that is going to blissfully become available drawing birds.

Since I took that picture of the young raptor showing down there on the August 17th post I have become obsessed with learning about birds. It turns out that is not a young Peregrine at all, but either an immature Cooper’s Hawk or a Red Shouldered Hawk.

I know this because last night I pounced on a guy that looked like a scientist at our local Audubon Society new member night event and asked him and he took me back into the Nature Store and pulled out an amazing book on raptors and asked me a whole bunch of questions about the sighting.

This mysterious very important bird person was able to mimic exactly the whistling call they made to each other. How cool is that???

My sister and brother in law and I have been to two of three beginning birding sessions on Sauvie Island and have seen many amazing birds and learned a whole bunch of stuff. We bow to Mr. Sibley and his Basics, Behavior and Guide.

Last weekend we saw a young female Northern Harrier that was positively golden, she has to be one of the most beautiful birds I’ve ever seen, and she stayed put so we were able to admire her through the scope.

It is funny because I have been putting birds in almost all my poems since I started writing poems. And then I became obsessed with Manfred, my own personal king of Sicily and wise observer of falcons and now this!

When I have a little more time I’ll write about the transformative exchange of emails and phone conversation I had with Annie Finch engendered by the note she left on my post before last.

Thanks to her humor and enthusiasm she was able to neutralize almost all of my despair about the poetry workshop from hell and I am now plowing through her book recommendations and practicing my meter.

Oh, and yeah, there was an election in there somewhere too, now that I think about it…