Monday, August 26, 2013

This year I have learned the cry

of the pileated woodpecker. Instead of the woodpecker family I had two years ago, this year there is only one, And I think she's a kid. The call is a series of short repeated notes. Not very musical, but the bird is so spectacular one does not care. A favorite woodpecker food item is the carpenter ant--we have plenty of those! This picture through my kitchen window shows how one likes to work over a dead tree. When they started on this one, it wasn't quite dead yet.

Today I got out my neglected Samsung with the longer lens. And I have ordered a replacement for the wooden feeder that just failed after so many years, because suddenly I want more bird photos! Don't you? .

Tonight's poem is translated from the Portugese of Eugenio de Andrade by Alexis Levitin. I found it in The Vintage Book of World Poetry, edited by J. D. McClatchy, Vintage Books, 1996, on page 14. It is from White on White, a book of poems of about sonnet-length with Roman numerals instead of titles. Suddenly I want to write a series of numbered poems! Don't you?? Let's begin with one for each of the four seasons. Last night it felt like rain, and we got a soaker!


Sometimes one enters the house with autumn
hanging by a thread,
one sleeps better then,
even silence stills itself at last.

Perhaps out in the night I heard a rooster crow,
and a little boy climbs the stairs
with a carnation and news of my mother.

I've never been so bitter, I tell him,
never in my shadow did the light
die so young
and so obscured.

It feels like snow.

---Eugenio de Andrade (pen name of Jose Fontinhas) (19 January 1923 – 13 June 2005)

This poet is very well known in his country; often I am sad that I know only the one language. I definitely feel that we are moving into autumn now, which makes me think about haiku; the most moving ones have autumn season-words, I think. This brief poem has prompted me to try one of my own.

Goatsbeard Farm News! Tonight, Scrubby, the young buck goat has been penned away from the ladies, to prevent any more of those disastrous in-the-snow goat births. Goats like to hang out with other goats, and he has done so all of his short life. And he is crying piteously, my daughter says, It's a sad life, sometimes. Good night, and may there be no bleating to keep you awake! We can't hear Scrubby from here. It's another sad story, though.
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