Monthly Archives: February 2015

SUN RAYS

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. . . the little mice began to gather corn and nuts and wheat and straw. They all worked day and night. All—except Frederick.
“Frederick, why don’t you work? They asked.
“I do work,” said Frederick.
“I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days.”

—Frederick by Leo Lionni

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THE FEAST

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At nine o’clock on a January night
I heard the coyotes yipping and howling.
They’d found the fresh deer carcass
on the edge of the woods.
But they were not the first to the feast.
On no, that would be the crows who spotted it at seven o’clock that morning.

In raucous delight they barked from the bare branches
alerting their mates
to the startling innards scrambled across the road.

They flew down and strutted about the thrown back head,
and black muzzle pointed to a snow-flecked sky.
Inspection complete, the staring eyeball and lolling tongue
were their sweet meats.

By the time the sun was above the hill
the turkey vultures were circling.
That would have been 10.30 or so.
And by noon they’d folded themselves into the trees
like so many black umbrellas—the good old-fashioned sort—
to wait for their turn at the feast.

When the time was ripe they descended,
scaring off the crows with forays and lumbering, heavy winged hops.
Their downward curving beaks slashed at the belly flesh,
still faintly warm, though the legs were stiff.

By now the slow seeping red tide
had begun to stir the worms.

At half past two, a black beetle crawled out of a patch of dirt to sun itself.
It flexed its patent leather wings
and crooned with joy, sipping daintily with its proboscis,
It was glad not to have to share the meal with those belligerent flies.

At sunset three deer came stepping across blue shadows,
punching through snow crust
to stand by the stone wall.
Tossing their heads, they sniffed the air,
tongues darting nervously over nostrils,
gathering the scent of decomposition.
Recognition, scant and fleeting, of one of their own.
Breath streaming, they stamped their hooves on the ice crystals,
turned and bounded off into the woods.

And finally, past midnight,
When the moon was cold and buoyant in the heavens,
A small red fox who had waited patiently all day,
curled tight in a thicket, nose buried in his tail, one eye open,
got his chance.

He quick-stepped to the feast.
Snatched and gulped, snatched and gulped,
before trotting off with a gulletful of fat-marbled meat
for his waiting mate.

WINTER SOUNDS II

IMG_0968Rooster            blue jay            crow                        wind chime
Rooster            blue jay            wind chime                        cat
Rooster            cat            airplane
Rooster            blue jay            cat            barred owl
Barred owl
Barred owl
Crow
Barred owl            crow            chickadee

            Leaf rustle            cat

Rooster
Wind chime
Crow            wind chime

            Chickadee chickadee chickadee

Snow

HEALING

DSCF7174Like a fishing heron
I will stand on one leg
And wait
For the healing to begin.

It starts deep inside
The silent knitting together
Of cells and tissues
Into an intricate suspension bridge
Spanning the wound

Slowly
The restorative mind fixes its beam
On the hotspot
Tapping the reserves
Of sunlight and music
Channeling the resources
Of tea and compassion
The balm of small feats mustered

It is a balancing act
A resolution
To keep the self-pity genie
Stoppered in its bottle

Regeneration
A humbling of the spirit
A discovery that strength and patience
Are one and the same.