Change

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Change

Summer walks along the garden path,
imprinting its footprints of flowers.

Green dreams wander the wind-lisped
grass with its multitudinous tongues.

Bright birds toll the morning bells
and announce a midsummer madness.

Occupational therapy, this forced feeding:
a million beaks and bellies nurtured.

All too soon, the shortening of days,
fall’s stealthy approach, the long trip home.

The moon will then swing its winter lantern.
Orion, dog at heel, will hunt his star-frosted sky.

Crows, those eternal survivors, will take salt
and the occasional meal from icy roads.

Comment:

It’s cloudy this morning and there is a chill in the air. The rowan berries are a bright yellow-turning-rapidly-to-orange. The crab apples are little red faces peering from laden tree and branch. The whole world has a sense of imminent change. Winter is never far away and the fear of frost-on-high-ground is always upon us.

Bird Flu

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Bird Flu

Silent the mountain ash
burdened beneath berries
burnished from yellow
to orange but where are
the birds who bounce
and chirrup and chirp
silent now their domain
the bird flu gripping
at fountain and feeder
and stilled their voices
gone their brightness
banished from this garden
that suffers now in silence
butterflies adorn the cones
and bees bumble in bees’ balm
but where oh where have
our beloved birds gone
chickadee and phoebe
sparrow and goldfinch
robin blue jay and nuthatch
gone gone gone all gone
and only the family of crows
young and old croak on and on

Summer Visitors

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Kingsbrae 20.2
20 June 2017

Summer Visitors

Wind-blown birds,
songsters, passerines,
carried up from the south
on the wind’s wings.

Myths become facts:
hummingbirds on
eagles’ backs, warm,
clinging, feather-nested.

The following wind
drives carrier and
passenger onwards
and upwards to our land.

Look to the Mountain Ash
with its Indigo Bunting,
rare passerines flourish,
too, new, sudden and
unexpected visitors, drawn
north by our sun’s magnet
and our short summer
season with its wealth:
swarming northern insects
(never forget
those migrant butterflies)
and pestilential flies.

Writer

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 Kingsbrae 17.2
17 June 2017

Writer

Writer, write not your words in the sand.
The seas are rising on an incoming tide.
Strong winds push waves towards the shore
and night descends.

Your words are shadows written on sand.
Like footsteps they will wash away and soon
you, your words, your footprints,
will exist no more.

Writer, cast your words in stone.
Stamp them into monuments.
Sculpt earth’s bones into words
and let them take form.

Climb high into the hills. Heaven will bring
words on the white wings of gulls.
Carve them slowly on stone tablets.
Bring them home from the hills.
The world will rejoice in the magic of your words.

Stand Off

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Kingsbrae 16.3
16 June 2017

Stand off

Yesterday,
a raven and an eagle,
bald-headed,
faced off on the ice.

They stared at each other,
necks tucked into
hunched shoulders,
feathers fluffed,
otherwise unmoved,
unmoving.

Each dared the other
to make himself vulnerable,
to stretch out his neck
for the dead fish lying
beside the ice hole
they both guarded.

It seemed as if
they were waiting
for the opening whistle
that would send them
head to head
in mortal combat.

Immobile combatants.
Slow dance of moving ice,
cracked and crackling.
Sudden swift sparring:
a dance of death.

This Fragile Light

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Kingsbrae 16.1
16 June 2017

This Fragile Light

This fragile light
filtering through
the early-morning mind
filled as it still is
with night’s dark
shadowy dreams
their dance demonic
or perchance angelic
as light rises and falls
in time to the chest’s
frail tidal change
the ins and outs
of life-giving breath

Bright motes these birds
at the morning feeder
feathered friends
who visit daily
known by their song
their plumage
their ups and downs
as they dazzle and spark
breaking the day open
with their chorus of joy

Comment: According to my journal, this poem was written on Saturday, 25 March 2017, and is number 32 in the Kingsbrae Cycle that I started on 3 March 2017. I posted it to the blog on 26 March 2017 and you can view it and the earlier comments by clicking here. This Fragile Light is art of the Kingsbrae Cycle in tone and mood. It didn’t need to be rewritten in situ, and I repost it in its original form. From now on, this pattern of a repetition of earlier posts together with a rewriting of earlier poems and the creation of new ones will be the central pattern of the Kingsbrae poems. What will change are the pictures accompanying the photos.

 

Peace

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Kingsbrae 14.3
14 June 2017

Peace

Everywhere I go, distractions.
I-phones bleep, fingers touch
screens, instant news breaks
sound waves on an endless
shore, noise, more noise, car
radios, heavy metal, hard rock.

I must flee now to the gardens.
I must seek out the robin’s song,
find the liquid notes of the water
thrush, search for the oriole’s
magic voice, the cardinal’s
colorful chorus. Not for me the
cheap tweet of the twitter-verse:
better by far the soulful summer
sounds of the natural universe.

 

Icarus

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Kingsbrae 13.4
13 June 2017

Icarus

Such a miracle,
those first steps
of the sea-bird’s flight,
lurching his launch
over troubled water.

That first step heavy,
the second lighter,
and the third
scarcely
a paint brush
pocking the waves.

Deep within me,
I sense the need
to fly, to soar, to rise
high in the sky
and seek the sun.

I don’t care
if the sun’s heat
melts the wax
that binds my wings
and sends me
tumbling down,
a shooting star
falling
from the firmament.

A second sun,
I’ll be,
stunning in my sunset,
burning a glorious
path to death in my decline.

Myth Magic

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Kingsbrae 13.3
13 June 2017

Myth Magic

This old world, born again,
renewing itself before my eyes.
My hands reach out to touch it
and I feel it grow beneath my fingers,
so soft, so sensitive,
and my memories as wild
as the delicate deer that tumble
and run to enter the gardens
and plunder red roses
from the holy of holies.

Some days, the warm earth
trembles as those old gods walk again,
Orpheus, Pan, Diana by moonlight,
Narcissus perishing by the pond.

 In our Secret Garden,
Robin song still haunts and enchants me.
Echo calls back from a not-so-distant past
and her voice lingers among birdsong,
soft and long.

Seagull

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Kingsbrae 12.4
12 June 2017

Seagull

Seagull on the wind
wing tip tilted
for maximum lift

Wheeling up and away
the gull-wing sway of him
climbing his celestial staircase
in a rush of blue air

Light his flight steps
danced to wind music
played over beach and wave

Watch him wave good-bye
with a waggle of his wings
and a well-judged flick
his sea gull tail painting
neat brush strokes

Comment: Looking through my notebook, I saw the original of this poem, scribbled while I sat in the car, waiting for my friend. I re-read it and admired its simplicity. So I copied it here. The earlier poem I wrote, with the same title, Seagull, is more worked and much more elaborate. You can find it here. I would be interested to know which of the two versions you prefer. A second question: can they both stand as separate poems, even though they overlap in their inspiration and imagery? Let me know what you think.