I never think when I write; nobody can do two things at the same time and do them well. ~Don Marquis

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In Pursuit Of A Sparrow

This week at Poets and Writers, there's a poetry prompt to write a poem about a time the weather has affected your life. "Weather has a spiritual aspect and a profound affect on us even though it doesn't know we exist."

In the midst of this deep freeze, something called me from bed at five in the morning. Minus thirteen degrees outside, and the furance runs without pause. Why am I not still bundled in bed with a pillow over my head? Because of the poem that won't leave me alone?


It's the snow, it's the snow, deep and blowing and more
and the road is not there nor the drive nor the fields
nor silo with its rounded white globe.
Not there.
The birds have all fled to the wood and the cows
bury their noses in sweet fragrant hay.
The bull dreams of grass and the sun on his back
and the chickens fluff their feathers, heat lamps under their wings.

It came quietly in the night, like pirates boarding a ship,
blanketed the Queen Anne's Lace gone to seed in a ditch


then bestowed billows of white on the evergreen boughs
and laid down ruffles of lace up to their waist.
Silent silent.
The car lies like a behemoth under a quilt
and the bird feeders are frozen and covered with snow.
So still, so still.

But then the wind stirred on a rotational pull
and with hackles raised, set off in pursuit.
It rallied the snow, which must be put in its place,
must be molded and banked and taught to behave
and now white is the sky and the roof of the barn
and the house and the field where wheat once grew tall.

A little brown sparrow lands on my sill,
she lands in a candle nestled in snow.
Soft and brown at my window, right there at my window,
this little winged creature quivers and shakes,
under stalks of arugula gone to seed in a vase.  

Eyes dart to and fro, tis a mean trickery,
these stems bereft of seeds but decked out prettily
(to us)
in white Christmas lights.
What’s its use asks the sparrow,
so fragile yet hardy of wing and sinew
It has no seed or shelter, it’s nothing to me.

So wise, the sparrow, poised to leave. To leave.
But wait.
The Christmas tree hauled outside on the porch—
denuded of finery yet beautiful still—
has blown off in the gale, but its branches are thick
and welcoming still as on that night in the lot
when we chose it over others. All others.
Welcoming.

She flies into the winter of my spent Christmas tree,
disappears from sight but I know she's in there.
Then joined by a junco who was lost in the wind
a chubby little junco, charcoal blue and lost gray.
then, look! a fat dove skitters onto the porch,
wings flutter and clap and he joins them in there. 
All so hardy and knowing and independent of me.


Thank you for reading my long weather poem. I couldn't seem to stop.  But one more thing before I go, from Book Riot, this past week comes a list of ten wonderful Kurt Vonnegut quotes. If you've stayed with me thus far, I would leave you with my favorite.

"The America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries."

Amen

9 comments:

Other Mary said...

Oh, you've captured the rural winter so very well. I love the first two stanzas and the repetition throughout is effective. I also just love the line:

She flies into the winter of my spent Christmas tree,

Beautiful Yvonne!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Mary,
Thank you so much! The plow finally came through so I'm once again free!

Anthony Duce said...

So glad you left your warm bed. The poem is wonderful..

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Tony!
Thank you. I'm glad I did too, but it's so kind of you to tell me so.

Liza said...

This is what caught me, pulled me, shaped and molded me... "It rallied the snow, which must be put in its place,
must be molded and banked and taught to behave
and now white is the sky and the roof of the barn
and the house and the field where wheat once grew tall.
And yes, libraries are a refuge!

Cloudia said...

Inspired. Thanks for sharing




ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

Yvonne Osborne said...

Liza,
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it and also mentioned the quote. I like that one the best.
Thanks again for coming over in the cold!

Claudia,
Hi! So nice to see you. Thanks a bunch.

Jemi Fraser said...

That's a great quote!

Love the poem Yvonne! So many of Nature's creatures do a much better job that we do of using what's available to them! :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Jemi,
Thanks. It really struck a chord with me. And, yes, I think we can learn much by sitting back and watching nature at work. Thank you for reading and commenting!!