Red-winged blackbirds have lots of sex
Red-winged blackbirds have lots of sex
and they sing
flashing their stripes
bouncing on a cattail.
What’s my singing perch
from which to belt out
songs of joy and gratefulness
and courtship and love?
My cattails are
the little thoughtful things,
the daily things.
A welcome-home kiss,
A text of the sunrise because you know it will make me smile,
Picking up my plate after dinner,
Leaving the garage door open when I am soon to be home,
A walk holding hands,
Filling two water bottles before we go to the gym
and putting lemon in mine,
Bringing the car around on a cold evening out,
Bouquets of wild flowers and lovely weeds,
Offering me a stick of cinnamon gum,
Carrying the heavy laundry basket down the stairs,
Inviting me along carp fishing,
Trying all the crazy things I cook,
Listening to my poems,
Snapping my snowmobile jacket collar so I won’t get cold,
A long hug before we part on work day mornings,
and never missing an “I love you” before we go to sleep.
winking at me
through cloud holes
like downcast eyes at a funeral,
eye lashes wet with longing
in the dark of forgotten day
hope is the guiding star
watching over the sagging moon,
watching over my perception of me
My matter from stars
tugs me across “time,”
time the human illusion,
tugs me out of my ego
into universality –
the only reality
photo by Benjamin Tatrow
Inspired by Jane Heil
The old wives
and some young aunties
know about the Robin’s snow.
The calendar says its spring
on the vernal equinox
but it snows three times on a robin’s tail.
The third snow came on April 10th.
The robins kept faith,
the deer laid in the season’s last white beds
and the fox, he zigzagged
in a game of fox and hound
across the snowy yard
until noon when the sun washed it all away
soaking the nitrogen rich precip into the greening grass.
Good for the farmers
who hitched up their manure spreaders
and scratched that long itch of winter
to get out and play in the naked dirt.
The medicine wheel has turned
and the flitty birds come home
until the next shoulder season
when the crops are in the mill
and the worms burrow deep
and the last Robins of fall take wing
Spring spread a table of delights
at my feet on Easter morn.
The flittings of amorous song birds,
downy catkins seasoning the dark branches of pussywillows,
and the smart rappings of a downy woodpecker.
My ears filled with the soulful musings of mourning doves
and the tinny trickle of the melt fattened creek.
The sky was buttered white with only a few crannies of blue
spreading the small rain and lengthening light
to pulse the land back to life.
All this covered in a gravy of fresh wind
made this truly a day of renewal
of flowing sap
and seeds in the warming soil
cracking their winter shells
poised for unfolding their green
as I unfold my long legs beside the creek
and trotted off to Easter dinner.
Is that true?
Does experience cloud intuition?
Is the pure heart
the best barometer
or is a muddied heart
the more discerning predictor?
Maybe it’s the thinking mind
that gets in the way of divination.
Our heads talk us out of our instincts,
we hear our grade school teachers
and Sunday school preacher’s
prejudices and rules overriding
the ancient knowledge in our guts.
Maybe our DNA has the knowledge
of our ancestor’s residually attached.
The hard lessons of our lineage
are our sixth sense,
a sense accessible if we listen.
Notice those flutterings in your belly
and when the small hairs
on your neck stand up.
Notice that tingling,
those little shivers
in your body
or when your feet don’t want to go
where they are told.
quiet the mind and listen.
Intuition may indeed come from innocence,
innocence of the mind coupled with
the ancient wisdom of the body.
The sick raccoon
with faded colors
didn’t benefit from Gideon’s bible
or the Jehovah’s that stopped by
yesterday to save our souls.
He wasn’t wearing his mask
when he stumbled into the trap
and his belly suffered from the mange
in his fur coat.
Josey says “buzzards gotta eat
same as worms,”
but they won’t eat poor Rocky.
Yet, he wasn’t ready to die
because death is not a thing
for a raccoon.
It’s just the way of nature.
Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
He is now becoming earth
sinking into the spring mud
from which he came.
Sense of identity
What is uncompromisable?
Is style part of your fabric
or can it flow like a rock filled stream?
Can you adapt to a new country,
re-birthing as if you are a native?
Can you ride the dark horse
and be unafraid and fulfilled
or run with the bulls
when you don’t believe
in testing the protections of a dead saint?
Maybe style and culture can shift
your core beliefs.
what is important to me?
what is uncompromisable?
These are your bones
that hold up the soft flesh,
your steel girders
that leave no gaps unbridged,
they are the beacons
to guide you through the storm
and your true you,
your sense of self.
Values are what is left
when all else washes away,
they are what you take with you
when you die
they will say:
he was a good friend,
a loving father,
a neighbor you could depend on.