Saturday, August 02, 2014

Evening Light and Birds, Birds, Birds!

Sometimes, as last evening, it is all about the sky!

Today, I finally got some action at the thistle feeder! Three yellow and black beauties; the Goldfinch word is out! In the early evening there were seven Northern Flicker picking around in the bare earth where Fairbairn's dug to fix the well. A couple of them even took quick dust baths. But the rest were clearly eating something. Grasshoppers? I didn't see any. Smaller bugs? Something in the soil? A lot of the birds looked (in size and plumage) as if they were sub-adult; I looked up the size of Flicker clutches and found they lay between 5-8 eggs per clutch. So some of these may have been siblings. Although, usually one sees a solitary flicker; I've never seen them in groups. Must have been something really good to eat. And yesterday? One Pileated Woodpecker at the suet. Things are looking up in this birding zone!

The New Yorker came today, with two good poems. 
Here is one of them, by that beloved American poet, W.S. Merwin.


Can I get used to it day after day
a little at a time while the tide keeps
coming in faster the waves get bigger
building on each other breaking records
this is not the world that I remember
then comes the day when I open the box
that I remember packing with such care
and there is the face that I had known well
in little pieces staring up at me
it is not mentioned on the front pages
but somewhere far back near the real estate
among the things that happen every day
to someone who now happens to be me
and what can I do and who can tell me
then there is what the doctor comes to say
endless patience will never be enough
the only hope is to be the daylight

W.S. Merwin

in The New Yorker, July 28, 2014, page 49.

I so much admire the forward motion of this poem! It has no punctuation, no stately Initial Capitals on any line. There are no jarring linebreaks; phrases are usually complete on each line. There is a strong emotional impact. It is not a happy poem, but gently philosophical. Lines seem to be ten syllables in length. Which makes me want to think more than I have been willing to about syllabics, and to look again at the work of Marianne Moore, which now is at home on my Kindle. So another little project. I failed today on the second day of The August Project (30 minutes of art) but will resume tomorrow.

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