A Gospel of Birds

“They mate for life, she’d say.”

 

My thanks to Dayna Patterson and the crew at Psaltery and Lyre for publishing my poem this morning.  Check out their beautiful website.

She wasn’t sure about heaven,
but she believed in birds.
On walks she’d stop to watch
a skein of geese, wondered
where they came from,
where they were heading.
They mate for life, she’d say.
Crows do too. And swans
and storks. She must have said that
a hundred times, with a kind of wonder
at the impossibility.

She kept five feeders on the deck,
had a book of backyard birds
to identify newcomers at the feast.
She cried when a neighbor’s cat
killed a mourning dove. They mate
for life too, she said. Listen,
her mate is sad. That’s just their call,
I told her. No, it’s different, she said.
You can tell when birds are sad.

She died a month ago.
I keep the feeders filled.

– Sarah Russell
Picture courtesy of The Spruce

 

Petrichor

Start with a kiln-dry summer day,
when the earth cracks with longing,
and sweat makes tracks between your breasts.

The air’s so still you hear a beetle scuttle
on the screen, the sun dims in a sullen sky,
and crickets stop chirping. Maybe they know
what’s coming, or they’re tired of asking.

Then it starts – the first lazy drops –
and when the wooden porch step’s dappled,
you go out and lift your face to the embrace
and breathe in the mix of dust and rain
like a lover’s musk.

– Sarah Russell
First published in The Houseboat
Painting by  Rafaelll90 Digital Art

A Retirement

My friend Steve Deutsch writes narratives that always dig below the surface of their words. He also writes a delicious satirical political blog.  Enjoy!

tree-19957_1920

By stevieslaw

It leafed out absent-mindedly
this year, our junk maple.
A street planting from the fifties,
its branches bald and barren here and there,
though not alarmingly so—
just enough that you would notice,
if you were the kind who’d notice.
It will weather this year, I imagine,
and most likely the next,
but I worry about
our foreseeable future.
On this spot, a twig of a thing,
staked out against the bare breeze,
stands in the unshadowed sun
while from this old house, some
other someone will watch it grow.


Bio: Steve Deutsch’s work has appeared in Eclectica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, New Verse News, Silver Birch Press, and Misfit Magazine.

View original post

The Thief

An allegory for our times.

Eunoia Review

Each day he took something. The right breast of the mother. The grandfather’s supper. The child’s teacher. Sometimes he’d leave something in exchange, but it was always lesser.

Selma’s black hair was replaced with gray. Over time, her brush stilled, her studio emptied. Once she heard the eagle’s cry and her heart opened like a red barn door, then the crack of a rifle and the door slammed shut. She kept one brown feather. During the days that grew windy and progressively darker, she’d stand at the window and run a finger up and down the feather, its softness a comfort, a reminder.

But still he took something beautiful and left something ugly. Civility became extinct, like the eagle and the wolf, and in its place was built a long wall separating her old country from her new one.

Without her art, she took to pacing her side of the…

View original post 364 more words

Everything Becomes a Stranger

“. . . a poem is a silent tree in spate . . .”

This morning I read a new poem by Rajani Radhakrishnan that is a perfect description of how a poem is made and who it becomes as we let it go.  Rajani gave me permission to reblog it, so here it is.  Please visit her site, ThotPurge to thank her, and while you’re there check out her second blog Phantom Road  where she converses with Marcus in a series of haibun poems — equally as evocative.  Rajani, I am so grateful to have discovered your poetry.

Everything Becomes A Stranger

even a word in a sentence,
you hold it there, lock it in and
for a while it makes sense
then it begins to work itself loose
wanting to move
wanting to move on
another appears in its place
an unfamiliar voice,
saying something else;

a poem is a silent tree in spate
one by one its green eyes fall
one by one new eyebrows are raised
only you know it is a different tree
the shadows paint another dark
and whatever is flowering
is not caused by your being;

everything becomes a stranger
once it leaves, once it falls
words, worlds,
people,
even you walking away
carrying a poem
carrying a sentence
cast shapes angled into the sun
as if the light is making love to you
in a different language.

– Rajani Radhakrishnan

 

Nesting

The finches are courting
outside our window, a warbled
discussion of real estate and love.
Like last year and the year before,
they want to lease the flower wreath
on our front door. It’s always a dilemma:
discourage their rapture or detour
through the garage?

The finches always win. So
for a month we’ll wake to overtures
at dawn – so cheerful, so loud –
show pictures of pin-feathered babies
to friends, recall demands
and pleasures of our own brood,
the bittersweet fledging.

– Sarah Russell
First published by Your Daily Poem
The photo is of their nest last year.

Thought this was apropos since Mr. and Mrs. Finch are back and are quite excited about our new wreath this year.  They were both tucked into a niche behind the blossoms, discussing the furnishings when I opened the door this morning.  The nest was almost complete this afternoon.  Can’t deny true love.

Hegira

Those dream-filled summer nights,
a wail, anguished as a banshee,
pierced the rusty screen.
Then the rhythmic clatter grew
until the bed and I would tremble.

Let me come too, I whispered,
but it never heard,
or didn’t understand,
or didn’t care about a little girl
and a gallant torn-eared bear.

The rumbling, shaking wraith
moved on, its cry waning to an echo,
my heartbeat clinging to the cadence
of away from here, away from
here, away

– Sarah Russell
First published in Black Poppy Review
Photo courtesy of Awsom Wallpapers

Chairwoman – by Clare McCotter

An incredible poem by Clare McCotter on Algebra of Owls.

Algebra Of Owls

Slowly unwrapping her little layers every morning
we soap rinse dry from head to toe
deodorize her musk, perfume her neck and wrist
dress her in clean underwear
colour coordinating outer.
We dampen her hair
styling it the way we think best
we make her bed
chiseling out corners
lining up the shells on the counterpane.
We call her dear, speaking her name over and over again.

Quickly crossing the dayroom floor we all hold hands
reminding her of the day month year.
Near the big blue chair
she birls round  n n n    n n n n
n n n n n
drawing her knees up to her chest
she swings from our arms
like the ball on a strange executive toy   h h h    hh    hh
words smithereened.

Safely strapped in, the air around her writhes
till hands wither
and hang exhausted from the…

View original post 132 more words

Brilliant Quotes About Art From Famous Artists

These thoughts are as true for poetry as they are for art.

FLOW ART STATION

Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – René Magritte
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “Great art picks up where nature ends.” – Marc Chagall
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “Art is a line around your thoughts.” – Gustav Klimt
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “The true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature.” – George Inness
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art
“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” – Jerzy Kosinski
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.” – Claude Monet
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” – Frida Kahlo
Art Quotes Artists Quotes About Art “If I…

View original post 1,058 more words

Montana Man

“. . .the sky’s wide and blue and bare. . .”

Another ekphrastic poem today, based on a photograph by Tom Klassy.

He squints from under a John Deere cap
even when there is no sun. It’s late fall now,
the hay — enough this year — baled
for January feeding if the pickup makes it
to the herd — huddled, wooly, steamy breath
to match his own, pitch fork separating clouds
of gold, strewing it like loaves and fishes —
that kind of pride, though pride’s a wobbly perch
when drought and blight’s the norm, when the pickup
needs a fuel pump, barn needs shingles.

But this morning, the sky’s wide and blue
and bare, and Waylon’s singing Ramblin’ Man
while he hums along. Bernice’ll have coffee
scalding hot at the cafe, and prices were up
on the farm report this morning. Folks and steers
ain’t so different, he reckons, herd gathering,
keeping with their kind.

– Sarah Russell
First published in Ekphrastic Review

%d bloggers like this: