Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Birds in mind......

We've been doing a great deal of bird watching in the garden and down by the creek.  After the major restoration work was done to contour the creek bed, much of the vegetation had to be removed.  Mostly just grass, weeds and willows, but I missed it all, nonetheless.  And, the birds and wildlife missed it, too.  But now, they are returning.  Testing the waters.  Perching on the branches of the small new native tree plantings.  Nibbling at the ripened seeds on the wax myrtle shrubs.....and, the great horned owl gave us a brief sighting not too long ago.  As we sat down by the creek, on a rather chilly afternoon sipping hot tea, a winged form glided out from the woods, and perched on a Dug Fir snag.  He gazed at us....then flew away.  But we heard him that night....calling, and so this poem, of a different type of owl, really spoke to me......it describes so beautifully how it feels to be so transported by a bird on the wing.....

A Sighting

The gray owl had seen us and had fled
but not far. We followed noiselessly,
driving him from pine to pine:
I will not let thee go except thou bless me.

He flew as though it gave him no pleasure,
forcing himself from the bough,
falling until his wings caught him:
they had to stroke hard, like heavy oars.

He must have just eaten
something that had, itself, just eaten.
Finally he crossed the swamp and vanished
as into a new day, hours before us,

and we stood near the chest-high reeds,
our feet sinking, and felt
we'd been dropped suddenly from midair
back into our lives.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mostly poetry today....and a few recent photos as evidence of Spring....

I am reluctant to let go of the poetry just yet, although I'm turning my attention more to the outdoor pursuits of the garden....so, in this vein, a few selections from Mary Oliver's latest book A Thousand Mornings must be noted here.....

All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing.

And, a photo from the garden to go with it....sword fern fiddle-heads, imitating little seahorses in the morning....

Next, the poem that created the special mood that I was looking for after an exhausting week...

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
An iris appears to inhabit stillness by the creek...

And, finally, 
The Moth, The Mountains, The Rivers

Who can guess the luna's sadness who lives so
briefly? Who can guess the impatience of stone
longing to be ground down, to be part again of
something livelier? Who can imagine in what
heaviness the rivers remember their original

Strange questions, yet I have spent worthwhile
time with them. And I suggest them to you also,
that your spirit grow in curiosity, that your life
be richer than it is, that you bow to the earth as
you feel how it actually is, that we- so clever, and
ambitious, and selfish, and unrestrained- are only
one design of the moving, the vivacious many.
The creek on its way to the clarity of the river