Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Such singing

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves--
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness--
and that's when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree--
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing--
it was the bird for sure, but it seemed

not a single bird, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky - all, all of them

were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last

for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then--open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

"Such Singing in the Wild Branches" by Mary Oliver

Just a gentle reminder that Spring is passing, birds are migrating, wildflowers are blooming... get out and find it before it's done!

13 comments:

egretsnest said...

breathtaking!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Laura, that immage and those words brought tears to my eyes.

Bird Girl said...

Very nice, Laura! I'm out the door...looking...listening...fighting with the settings on my camera between branches ;-) Darn technology ruins everything!
Love your tanager picture - almost looks like the one I got in the silent auction!

Rabbits' Guy said...

I'm trying! Thanks for the nudge ...

Kathiesbirds said...

Laura, you are so right! We have had a couple of days of rain here and this morning the sun has emerged once again and all the birds are feasting and singing. They bring their babes to my feeders and fight for the right to feed. I feel the wonder of it all and the restless need to see it all before it stops!

Mary said...

Thanks. I'm out there whenever I can escape from, well, all the crap.

MevetS said...

No reminder needed! :-) But thanks just the same.

I just spent two nights in the Franklin Parker Preserve. Stargazing while serenaded by tree frogs and whippoorwills.

The perfect antidote to cubicle-itis.

Elizabeth said...

wonderful poem -- thank you for posting!

dguzman said...

My nemesis bird!

Abe Lincoln said...

Gosh, what a beautiful color red this bird is. Nice photography.

Kelly said...

...a beautiful post. The poem is breathless...the photo gorgeous.

ReluctantChickenFarmer said...

Gonna steal that nice prose.
I was hoping you wrote that. You could probably do better.

Endment said...

Laura - once again you have put together a perfect post

Thanks