Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Songbirds

The Fist | Mary Oliver

Thank you, Mary Oliver, for yet another challenging poem. I imagine you watching us, willing us to do better. My comments follow your poem.

The Fist

There are days
when the sun goes down
like a fist,
though of course

if you see anything
in the heavens
in this way
you had better get

your eyes checked
or, better still,
your diminished spirit.
The heavens

have no fist,
or wouldn’t they have been
shaking it
for a thousand years now,

and even
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind—

heaven’s own
creation?
Instead: such patience!
Such willingness

to let us continue!
To hear,
little by little,
the voices—

only, so far, in
pockets of the world—
suggesting
the possibilities

of peace?
Keep looking.
Behold, how the fist opens
with invitation.

© 2006 by Mary Oliver, poem found on pp. 46-47 of Thirst,
Published by Beacon Press

Dear Mary Oliver,

I don’t know where to begin. Things are such a mess down here since you left. And still the sun goes down, often in blazes of glory that fade and then, right on time, return the next day.

Never resting, really. Just moving on to circle this war-weary earth every 24 hours so everyone knows we haven’t been left to our own devices, or shut down due to human failure.

As if it weren’t amazing enough to see the sun setting, songbirds join in the morning sunrise chorus. Especially in spring when their hormones seem to go wild with passion. Or at least the urge to procreate.

This morning I watched with disbelief as a fat red robin jumped into a pan of freezing cold water and splashed away before running off to pursue a female robin. Just two minutes later, a small gray junco did the same thing even though, as you know, they don’t procreate here in Pennsylvania. Are they crazy? Do they know something I don’t know, sitting behind my kitchen window, shivering?

There’s so much we don’t know right now. Why did this person got Covid and die while that person didn’t? Or why did my friend die who didn’t have Covid at all?

When I was growing up, they said most brutish behaviors were about lack of self-control. Today I’d say most of our crazy choices seem to be about fear. Not fear of Covid, but fear of having our “rights” taken away. I’m sorry to say we don’t seem to be softening as a nation, cleaning up our brutish ways, or finding our places in this strange world.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all accept the sun’s invitation? I imagine us jumping into the cold water together to clean our tired bodies and revive our aching souls.

I hope you’re doing well today. And please, pray for us as you’re able.

Your admirer,
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 March 2021
Sun setting over a city found at wallpaperaccess.com

 

 

It’s Monday morning!

Coming in for a landing
jostling for space
grabbing the prize
and gobbling it down
or flitting away to
a private dining room
in the brilliant maple tree
they swarm like bees

Red-bellied woodpeckers
hairy and downy woodpeckers
an occasional flicker
house finches and sparrows
tufted titmice and chickadees
red-bellied nuthatches
and plain black and white nuthatches
red cardinals and reddish-brown mamas
plus uncertain adolescents
interrupted occasionally
by raucous blue jays jumping
up and down and all over
our squirrel-proof birdfeeder

I wanted to come upstairs
and write a letter to you
but the birds kept calling out
with their happy dances plus
indiscriminate pooping on the porch rail
while Smudge slept soundly
on his special rocking chair
in the living room
resting from his nighttime
take-down of a baby cricket

It’s Monday morning
and I’m feeling rather frisky
and just a bit bold if not brave
Autumn is the most poignant
season of all with its nonstop
invitation to dance as leaves
flutter to the ground sparkling
with golden glory next to cast-off
pods from birdseed plus the other
stuff too all over the place
like a spatter paint job on
porch and lawn feeding the aging
grass with free fertilizer from above

A bit of nonsense, and a prayer that your week will be full of unexpected surprises of the good kind. Happy Monday, no matter what!

Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 19 October 2020
Photo of female Red-Bellied Woodpecker found at pilotonline.com

startled into flight

startled into flight
the young striped robin eyes me
from a nearby fence

twice it hops away
juvenile instincts awake
it heads for the trees

I’m just back from my morning walk. A beautiful day so far–not so hazy and humid, a little breeze in the air. Well…there was that giant mower roaring across the park hillside. But other than that, and grandparents and parents delivering young children to a summer program at the elementary school, I was blessedly alone. Until I came around the corner of the school and the poor robin, eating breakfast on the school grounds, got spooked.

Still, a great way to begin a summer day. And now I get to write about it. Icing on the cake!

Cheers!
Elouise

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 30 July 2018
Photo found in the National Audubon Field Guide

On the far edge of Spring

We hung the sunshade yesterday
golden and bold above the back porch.

Songbirds sent territorial calls soaring heavenward
hoping the fiery sun would come out to play.

This morning the trees danced swaying in midair —
branches thick with buds aching to parade their colors
before our spring-starved eyes.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 February 2018
Photo found at tidythyme.com

Carolina wren

Carolina wren
pierces dawn with song-burst
I smile and hit snooze

***

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 31 January 2018
Carolina Wren Song found on YouTube,
posted by the American Bird Conservancy

 

The long way home

My feet take the long way home through damp woods
Trees dripping with moss reach down, brush my cheek
Crystal flowing streams keep me company
Swarming insects dance in patches of light
Songbirds announce territorial bounds
Skittering squirrels rustle through fallen leaves
Iridescent beetles crisscross my path
Cicada song rises and falls in concert
Hungry gnats dive-bomb my face and nostrils
Far ahead I hear familiar voices

***

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 April 2017
Photo found at newfloridians.com

Monday Morning Walk

Chipping_Sparrow_with_nestlings

6:30 am
Honeysuckle vine
Fragrant trees and shrubs
Catbirds and crows
Chipping sparrows
Calling cardinals
Finches and orioles
Out and about
Some with their young

6:45 am
Yellow buses
Rumble by
Drop our young
At schools of learning

* * * Read the rest of this entry »

songs whistles chirps hoots

songs whistles chirps hoots
Nature Open for Business–
Visitors Welcome!

*****

I love my blog
I really do
The likes, the follows
All the views Read the rest of this entry »

dive-bombed cicada

dive-bombed cicada
tree trunk stormed by sqaub’ling squirrels
mid-summer madness

*****

Didn’t plan it
Can’t control it
Life just happens
As I walk along
anticipating nothing
in particular but
a quiet morning stroll
in glorious nature

Wouldn’t you know it Read the rest of this entry »

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