Sweet William

yesterday, I carried a sprig of Sweet William
three miles to a favorite poet’s grave
simply because you do not have one

and there, the trees were a free-for-all
of birds – oh, gorgeous, noisome riot!

some other Spring mourner before me had left
a tiny, silver “s” of a snake – something you
(poet, brother) both would have appreciated

each year, I am less clever, more gray –
but only this newspaper clipping of you ages

© Sarah Whiteley

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what the day contains

brown drifts of coffee grounds,
and the tappings of the black-capped chickadee
finding rhythm with the tick-ticking
of spring rain on new-green locust leaves
the passing hours mold the morning
into the firmer lines of day,
tracing the flights of fugitive birds –
red hawk, wren, house finch, crow,
ubiquitous dust-winged sparrow
shadows lazily skate and shift,
thumbing plants and spines of books,
shelves graced with inconsequential treasures –
of feather, stone, and sloping shell
the peonies on the window,
barely beyond their prime,
settle into fading brilliance
with unabashed aplomb
and if it might seem I forget you
amidst this gentle roster –
you’re the one, though absent,
who gives the hours their reason
and this simple room, its light

© Sarah Whiteley

writing home

apple-blossoms_1670

the small-birds have finally
found the window feeder
and the dogs are enthralled
with their sudden proximity

we are well, though feeling
the spring in our bones –
that gentle eruption debuts
a new brand of restlessness

the boards of the porch have been
too damp for comfortable reading,
and coffee for now is confined
beneath the mossy awning

but sweet and peppery
the season’s trees tease
the beginnings of green –
one promise kept, at least,
among so many hundreds dropped

these are days of small news,
buds of flowery hearsay – not much
here to report except the hummingbirds
are damp-winged and bright
among the new leaves of the maple

© Sarah Whiteley

uncommon company

coyote-img_5508

uncommon company

comes cawing

-purple gracing black-

knocks politely

on the wood,

awaits his

morning snack

****Crow Update****

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and perhaps it’s overdue?

Coyote and his mate (now called Magda) had no surviving offspring from the spring’s hatch. There’s really no telling what happened but I noticed more hawks than usual in the neighborhood, so that may very well be it. Of course, we have raccoons as well, who will think nothing of eating crow eggs, or even hatchlings.

We’re headed into the gathering time for the winter roost, and so I’ve got several crows who come along on walks with the dogs currently. But the two that are most present right now are Coyote and Knock-Knock. And it has been my pleasure most weekends to spend some time sitting on the porch with both of them. Coyote especially sits quite close on the porch railing and seems to like to hold a “conversation” with me. I keep trying to capture the little chortling and deep guttural noises he makes at me on camera – he makes them from deep in his throat and actually bends his neck so that his beak is nearly on his chest when he does the gutterals. I’m determined to get that on video one of these days!

I’ve been sitting out on the porch with the laptop, getting ready for NaNoWriMo and diving headfirst into research. I’ve noticed that if I’m not paying enough attention to Coyote, he will very boldly walk up along the railing behind me and knock his beak against the wood very loudly. The first time he did it, he startled the you-know-what out of me as I hadn’t even realized he was there.

Coyote has also started to show an interest in the toys Freyja brings outside with her. Yesterday, he tugged her blue stuffed dog across the parking lot while Freyja looked on. She didn’t seem too concerned that a crow was inspecting her toy – she’s so used to them now.

I never tire of these strange “friends” and their antics. I don’t even mind the occasional loss of a swiped lighter if it means I get to continue to observe them from perhaps just a little closer than most people have the opportunity to do so.