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.
TAPESTRY OF WINGS
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