Birds figure high with me. Small warm blooded dinosaur descendants, already around when the dinos fell, along with crocs and gators and a few smallish and one or two larger type lizards, and with the turtles and tortoises, they survived whatever that was.
The eyes of birds are direct windows into ancient life for me. I love that I feed the wild ones. I especially loved being very close to a yearling bald eagle one time. Here are two bird poems that both came in the morning of Dec. 19.
This first one is about ocean shore birds. Have you ever been on the beach of a morning when the fog isn't really fog but is still there, thin enough the sun shines through and gives a bronze cast to things? I used to live on the Oregon coast in the town of Newport, got married there back in 1975. We lived in a house in Nye Beach and were a block from the cliff that gave access to the beach, beside the Hotel Gilmore, a flop house and dope house in those days. Years later, that became an upscale bed and breakfast called the Sylvia Beach Hotel, with rooms that took literary names and decor, like the Charles Dickens room, for example. You could walk down the cliff face on a path and stroll the beach for a long distance, and some days were magic.
My Strange Presence
In the haze, gold eye
Shines with its own fuzzy light
Giving gulls the high
To enter the game, gamble
On my strange presence
As I stand beneath
The flock of them approaching
The shore where they live.
I love it when I can write one long sentence and have it make sense all the way like that. I tell you three times.
Here is another, a doubled haiku, two of everything. Death on my shoulder. In the Chinese mythology a crane is a singular blessing. One of my favorite lines in I Ching speaks to this crane, and how she sings to her young, how she possesses a goblet and is willing to share. I have from the beginning, when I first read that line, felt the love that comes with that goblet. My grave but me not in it. A crane's caress. Contact and communication. How can I not be blessed?
The Crane's Eye
A crane high steps on
My grave - I can tell
Because my flesh feels her feet.
I look straight at her. She gives
Me the eye and nods.
Then she steps away.