Sunday, April 2, 2017

The poetry of bluebirds

A pair of cardinals visited the front feeder this morning. He fed her a seed. Meanwhile, a small flock of juncos has been ground-feeding under that feeder over the past few days (as they head back North?). A confirmed sighting yesterday, of a female bluebird, means the house in the back field is being used again this year. Meanwhile, several male red-winged blackbirds have been visiting both feeders this weekend. Spring proceeds apace, but we're still short on rain.

a female bluebird brings poetry to the back fields
a female bluebird brings poetry to the back fields
Photo by J. Harrington

Did you know that, at the Academy of American Poets web site (, you can "Sign up for Poem-a-Day and read a poem each morning." (You can also read one here each day, too.) I signed up quite awhile ago and have been at least looking at a different poem each morning. I'm finally beginning to accept that I don't have to understand or even enjoy every poem in the world (I reached that stage with Brussels sprouts long ago), but I can't be sure whether or not I enjoy a poem unless I at least try it. (I can hear my mother's voice asking "How will you know?"). One of the reasons there are so many different poets, and poems, and flowers, and vegetables, and birds, and ..., is because we all don't like Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower, or hamburgers, or even waffles. If we all were the same, and all liked the same things, the world would be a monoculture and more vulnerable to pestilence. As it is, we are subject to pests like mosquitoes and ticks and Republicans, but that's better than monocultural dominance, isn't it? Something to think about during


With age   
what the youthful eye  
would have studied
until identified—
chicory? bluebird? debris?  
Today no nomenclature
the composure
of a chalk-blue haze
pausing, even dawdling,
now and then trembling
over what I’m going to call
fresh water.

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