The call of the geese

Breaks the morning silence

Through the trees I see their winged formation

Marking the sky with autumn

Monarchs track their own migration fueled by milkweed

I picked one up off the road

Orange and black patterned paper

Hummingbirds visit gardens

A marvel in miniature

So insect-like, a beak like a proboscis

So tiny fairies could surely ride on their backs.

Morning’s damp chill will give way come noon

But for now, a sweater is a comfort

Much like these harbingers of a new season

One in which I could say so much.

The leaves tipped with color begin to spread over the trees

Their transformation begins and so too do I feel mine

The call of the geese is in my bones.


Two flocks of geese flew over me on this morning’s dog walk

A chorus electrifying the sky

Two V formations V V

I tilted my head to receive them

Wings and wind and calling

The sound is an old memory in my bones

Of childhood days by a river

How autumn into winter the geese would create such a thrashing rattle of wings

As they’d lift up sky bound

And the river amplified their call, a cry, an anthem

Of a season coming, being, passing

In long stretches of months golden, then bare boned, to greening again

Though their migration has changed in the decades of my life

They seem to be more here than not

Yet, there is still something about hearing the Canada Goose

That stills me, demands I tilt both my head and my ears to search for them

Then I ask the hollow wind after they’ve passed over

What was it I was looking for just now?

Is it is thread I’d dropped or forgotten

That holds some fabric of me together?

Am I not a tapestry of wings, feathers, eggshell,

Nest, bird call, and river in my blood

In my bones rattling, rattling, rattling out

A drumbeat, a heartbeat, a life?

 A Nesting Place

I want to plant more milkweed next spring

To welcome the monarchs and hummingbirds

On their journey north and south.

Or is it east or west?

I don’t know, but this, these sweet visitors

Silently sipping at the red and ochre clustered blooms

That pull me from my meditation

Eyes opening to see them there

Was it the vibrations of their wings?

Was it some internal knowing?

What was it that lifted my closed eyes to witness

And the garden is so wild and fair

Now the milkweed pods have broken open

Like foaming feathers of seeds

On the slightest breath of breeze

That lift up and fly

Soft as silk is this milk of the pod

As wings of a butterfly

or the needle beak of the hummingbird if I were to run my finger along

If I held any of this in my hand

Awe would be my gasp

Silent communion would be our sharing

My garden is a nesting place.


They mark my morning’s daybreak

A chorus of honking before the traffic begins

They mark my evening’s day’s end

A solemn call silhouetted, haunting

I look up, I look up, I look up

To see the creamy belly of their undersides

The undulation of wings

Drop me a feather

I’ll put it on the mantle

And when I miss your daily passages

I will stroke it and my heart will hear you

And thank you

For whatever it is you are in the memory of my life

Is a nest woven of pine needles, rivers, down, and lost threads

Beating a heart, beating wings all flying away,     away,      away