Monday, March 28, 2016

Coyote Grief, Reprise

"Coyotes are incredibly adaptable," Gary San Julian reports. "They can switch from eating small mammals, including mice and voles, to dining on melons and apples and berries. They eat garbage. Some prey on domestic dogs and house cats. Coyotes are comfortable hunting on their own—catching small rodents in newly cut hayfields, for instance—and they also cooperate with each other to take larger prey, like deer."

The basic unit is a family group: an adult male and female, plus any grown offspring that have not yet dispersed into territories of their own. "Coyotes don't form large packs the way that wolves do," says San Julian. "A typical family group may number four of five individuals."

Coyotes have no problem coping with suburban sprawl…

exerpt of an article written by Charles Fergus based on his interviews with Gary San Julian, Ph.D., a professor of wildlife resources and an extension wildlife specialist in the College of Agriculture at Penn State.

Coyote Grief
(How I Became A Poet)

In the long ago, before this new world overran the stories, I would run with coyotes beneath the stars that hung much closer then. I had power then, I could fly. So could they. There were paths of light on which we loped, paralleling our brothers the wolves. For me the wolves were too serious, and I stayed with coyotes for the laughter. Sometimes when the light was right and the moon hung closest of all, in those days, in the deep dark of the nights of those days, we would gather and sing among ourselves all the old stories we knew. Those stories were fresh and new then. Time itself is different now.

Sometimes the night stills,
hardens, and the tight stars choke
and fall to flat earth,
dead embers. The sky
is no longer black, dim gray.

It was far away that it happened, in a drier land than here though of many rivers from nearby mountains. We gathered on the plateau to watch the world we knew die. I still don’t understand it. The earth shook and our hearts shattered. I stood and sang one last time in the way I could then, deep throated and free, not only bass but up through the tenor range, pure and open.

Coyote's sadness
is deeper than hope.

The sky fell. I don’t know what this means, but that’s what it did. I noticed her then standing in the circle, magnificent, of a different shape and color, and singing with higher notes than I can. She took my last song and my last breath. I have not sung those songs since and she howled beyond belief while my shattered heart turned to dust in my demise. The others wandered off to the ends of the world. She remained there solitary in her grief, breathing the stale air of that old, dead world.

She snuffs at dead stars amazed,
confused, wants to put
them back, cannot reach
that high, to the dim flat sky.
They won't burn again.

Me, I can never go back to the place where I died, to the land with no stars and that dead sun. I dare not if I could. Coyote, she holds vigil there, unable to go, unable to die, unable now even to sing. She tries to sing, but she has no voice any more. Her voice faded with the stars that fell to earth. As for me, my power is inside now, in my reborn heart. My power is no longer visible. So are my new words found inside me, though they are evoked, called forth by the things of this young world. They come rapidly lately from the mystery inside me and I write them down faithfully as fast as I can. Time is short. However, the music that we sang is still lost to me and to them too. That is why though the coyotes still howl, that howl is no longer a song but now more like a yodel.

This prose is from September of 2010. The poem was written in February, 2009. If you count syllables you will see, as with most of my recent poetry, that I use Haiku syllable counts for my lines, 5-7-5, repeat.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Lamp

Where is one thing,
One thought
One feeling
When I look in the mirror?

Asking this at once
I enter my purpose.
I look and discover
Who I am.

‎March ‎25, ‎2016 11:49 AM

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chess On The Street - A Magpie Tale

Chess On The Street

I'd like to leave you
over your never ending
chess play - obsession
is what our friends call
it - and then this girl shows up
and gives you fish eyes
while you sit and think
about how you might set up
mate within three moves.
Now I think I will
just sweep the board clean of you
and offer her sweets.

‎March ‎21, ‎2016 8:52 AM

See the Magpie Tales contributor list for other stuff to read using this photo prompt.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Feral Goddess

One time Coyote
clamped down on me hard as nails,
crusty teeth biting,
crushing my chain mail,
bruising me beneath, leaving
marks of links behind
for me to ponder,
to consider on my own,
wonder what comes next.

June 2, 2011 2:56 PM

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Spell Of Protection

I have spun the staff
faster than dream and stronger
than the hope of spring
and bloom in this place,
this one spot, holding my ring,
defying you all.
I see you all fade
from my memory like smoke,
leaving me standing
untouched by lost love,
by the entreaties you left
fading on the air.

May 30, 2011 9:57 AM

Monday, March 7, 2016

The State Of Affairs - A Magpie Tale

The State Of Affairs

I would have sent you
one more letter but I get
no replies from you.
My buddy Tom says
he sees you at the letter
box holding something
like you're sending up
a prayer all too often
but you back away.
He says he sees you
pocket whatever it is
and shuffle on home.

‎March ‎7, ‎2016 5:55 PM

Go to Magpie Tales to see the contributor list.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sad Tennis

All this back and forth
is sad tennis and strikes me
like service faults past
the outer white stripe,
me on the sidelines ducking
the next sharp return
only I don't want
to play the game one more time,
not today, my love.

May 26, 2011 8:04 AM

Thursday, March 3, 2016

In The Back Yard - Three Word Wednesday

A Barred Pymouth Rock Hen

Using the words Thom posted yesterday on Three Word Wednesday


I am finding it harder and harder to keep up with things even though I have simplified my life beyond all reasonable measure.

In The Back Yard

I want you naked,
an adjective I approve
in your case, sweetheart,
but you don't obey.

Just so typical, my love.

Your piercing presence
leaves holes in my craw
as I squawk out chicken sounds.

Then I peck for scraps.

‎March ‎3, ‎2016 5:04 PM

My friend Francesca decided she wants chickens in the back yard. She brought home two adult Barred Plymouth Rocks, one named Wrong Way and one named Glitter Pie. Wrong way promptly left the yard and has shown up a couple houses down where she continues to live as they want her too. Glitter Pie is happy here.

The Barred Plymouth Rock
was widely adopted and spread around the world. Through World War II, the Barred Plymouth Rock was the most common farm chicken in the United States and called by some “the Hereford of the poultry world.”

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