Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Honking of Countless Geese

Perhaps all the geese in the Treasure Valley had taken to the air just before we started on the Daily Walk. We heard the honking long before they came into view. They passed by for several minutes; this is just a portion of them. Together with the light of the setting sun, this made me very happy.

Tonight's poem again is by Hilda Morley, from To Hold in My Hand; Selected Poems, Sheep Meadow Press, 1983, page 78.


Finding the names of birds here,
of flowers, important. I say I must
know them, name them,
                                        to be able
to call upon where their magic
resides for me: in naming them
myself---to lay hold upon whatever
quivers inside the bird-calls,
                                              the dipping
of tail or wing---
                            to know it
inside my hand where power
of that sort lives
                           & in my fingers
wakes and becomes
                                  an act of

            **Hilda Morley, THE MACDOWELL COLONY, 1969**

This ampersand also makes me happy, as does the way the lines drop neatly down with that little oomph. In 1969, I was just beginning my library career (Santa Clara County Library, one of the great ones!) and we had adopted our third child. I, too, learned to love and name the birds, but that came later, after about 1985.

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