spring birdsong

Spring Birdsong

I have been seeking words
for birdsong pouring full-throttled
from small feathered throats
pulsating strands of layered tone
neither drifting nor wafting
but tumbling, lifting, braiding
rhythmic clarity that spring
is not arriving but here
anticipating
unencumbered walks
into coatless sun.

Emerged from winter’s dark
over-long cold, I unwrap the fur pelt,
stretch heart to warming sun grateful
for the open sky of birdsong returning
after long silence, rising free
on nature’s urgent rhythms.

swb

portrait of a morning

credit – jim hester

Although today is sunny, bright and breezy – even coolish with essentially no humidity – I am sharing a poem written yesterday during the Poetry Marathon. As you’ll see from the certificate, I signed up for and duly completed the Half Marathon. Twelve poems in 12 hours. I think the 24-hour version must be utterly grueling, because I’ll admit, there were hours (a new prompt is posted every hour on the hour and you create/post your response within that hour) – well, two or three – when I didn’t feel tired so much as devoid of words. And yet, there are 12 entries on my page!

The prompt for this poem was to write a four-stanza poem, using a line from the first in each of the others. For starters, it was great fun to see how people interpreted this prompt differently. As for my own experience, I loved the challenge of the structure to bring the poem full circle – and have it make sense!

The slow drizzle of gray-turned-rain
laps gently on the canvas covered deck
tapping its own rhythm to the quiet continuo
of Corinthian chimes muting the wind

the slow drizzle of gray-turned-rain
sliding off branch and rail, soaking
the thirsty ground as yellow finches
and the occasional hummer in search of food

lap gently on the canvas covered deck,
the day’s rhythms of hunger and its filing
marking the passage of hours, staging
the shape of a day. Downhill the new house rises

tapping its own rhythm to the quiet continuo
of our life here, its shape and pace
undisturbed by change, though
change unfolds all around us.

swb

the word for it

credit - galleryhip

credit – galleryhip

So THIS is the how you spell retirement – the word for what I do with my days. It is writing, yes. Writing to question, if not exactly with intent. Writing to explore, if not quite to declare. Writing to learn, and perhaps to share.

I continue to find that the writing I do in a group and with limited time forces out something that simply does not appear on its own. So with gratitude for my groups inside prison and for my groups outside in the world, I post this Sunday’s musing  – the only possible word for it.

THE WORD FOR WHAT I DO OR DO NOT DO*

In the grandiose silence of snow
woven around the waist of my universe
I disappear into its generous pocket

nesting where I may letter and draw
clouds of my own making, punctuate
the blankness of winter light.

This is what I do not do, but would, if . .
I could believe my words held merit
beyond the fiery walls that warm me; if

I could grab hold of something outside myself
to speak the words I know to be true
believing them to be of use to another; if 

I held conviction in my heart as strong
as my need to use words in service
to create, to challenge, to change.

The word for what I do, then, would be
courage – courage to reach deep
into my heart and pull up the truths

that hibernate yearlong in silence,
rousing them to revolt, reveal
and revel in the life given me.

The words would unravel
what is tightly wound around
waist and heart, bask in the light

that travels me through each day,
light that speaks the truth
of its own religion.

swb

*inspired by lines from two Billy Collins’ poems,
‘Snowy Day’ and ‘Shoveling Snow with Buddha’

 

autumn twilight

leaves turning red

i took this one!

I remain obsessed with my understanding of something I recently read explaining the annual display of leaf-changing color so familiar to New Englanders. Essentially, it is this: that leaves do not change color so much as reveal the inherent color masked the rest of the season by the daily process of photosynthesis. The production of chlorophyll hides those colors all season until cold and weaker sunlight slow the process down. At which point what has lain beneath all along is gradually revealed!

True or not, it has inspired me numerous times this fall. In the spirit of this understanding, I offer the following Sunday mediation and accompanying photograph:

I am in
my twilight season
my green leaves
fading with autumn’s
cold baring inner
intrinsic color. Maturity
and girlishness entwined
at long last
settling without judgment.
I am whole
in this season
of fully inhabiting
my own being.

swb