fieldnotes 3.28-29.17

Crash

Some were drawn by moon,
some by stars.
And maybe you followed the same path
of creative destruction,
the parasitic sort.

I lost half of my true name.
And you edged,
careful,
into that lost landscape and set up camp.

We push our fingers into the dirt and find them,
bone by bone,
diamond polished,
taut-stringed,
the dancer at the end.
And I danced ’til I could stand
and stumble on Alone.

Wind to lung,
rain to vein.

Meticulous and patient,
fingers dance to knotted words,
running them smooth again.
Old, well-built engines
sputter but start and settle,
an unheard hum.

And,
slipshod as we are,
renovated and repaired
with found or recovered objects,
the moon still pulls its salt through us —
a tightening circle of waves,
which must eventually crash us over
or pull us under.



3.28.17

(50/36)

coopers hawk. robins and redwings of course. chilly. feels like it should today. tree swallows on the boxes. chorus frogs. juncos. kingbirds. song sparrow. fox sparrow. cardinals. turkey vulture. song sparrows everywhere. tiniest patch of blue in gray sky. chickadees of course. flock of canada geese. redtailed hawk. pair of bluebirds on the sumac. kingbird again. flock of sparrows. golden crowned kinglet. mourning dove. kestrel! mallards. more kinglets. paid of redbellies.


3.29.17

(47/35)

no binos today because it is threatening rain. redwings and robins. earthworms everywhere. and the river looks high. fox sparrows. noisy noisy birds. oh! white egret! swallows in large numbers now. horned grebes again. cardinal. frustrating day to be without binos. lots of water birds. swallows. shovelers. someone left a bone here. a leg of something. bluebirds. geese. grebes. blue-winged teals. little flock of white-crowned sparrows. something new I can hear but can’t see. fox sparrow. blue heron. kestrel. song sparrow. robin. fox sparrow again. American pipit. cedar waxwings. bluebirds.
11:11 ‘set out for the distant sky’

Notes:
Quote 1: (set out): Nick Cave + Bad Seeds / ‘Distant Sky’ from Skeleton Tree (2016)


about fieldnotes

fieldnotes was written at the Marsh beginning Sept. 26, 2016 and ending near the same time in the following year, collected in memo books over the course of many rambling walks.
Beginning on Sept. 26, 2019, three years after the writing, fieldnotes will be published in its entirety, with posts appearing as the corresponding write-dates occur.
(at least to the best of my ability)

Inner Distant

1.

What have we done?
And what will we do now,
in the face of its vast
indifference?

2.

For now,
we are unformed matter —
a million million chrysalides,
formless form.
We are in the in-between,
reduced to basic need.
Survive.

3.

Let something worthy emerge
from the seed,
the cocoon of this inward descent.
Each to each —
one day may we simply take flight,
and follow the sun’s tireless instruction.

Please, oh you gods.
Let it be so.

fieldnotes 3.16-23.17

A Crooked Wander

‘…I won’t bend but I will break under the weight…’

Hang on to a sense of purpose.
You have an abundance,
yes,
and a place to fall back to
in your own beautiful heart.

When will you learn to take to
(too)?

A surface barely frozen waits for sun,
that’s all.
A pair of bluebirds at a nesting box.

Right knee, left thigh
make for a crooked wander.

And no one’s out to get us.

Redwings and chickadees. Robins and bluebirds again —
how they fill their feathers to warm —
how they are not afraid of me today.



3.16.17

(19/42)

colder – much – overnight. but in the sun the redwings are noisier than tuesday. it challenges the sense of purpose a little. but my decisions are my own. the idea of dependence unpleasant. the weird push-pull of one’s own independence vs. others’ lack of. cardinals. the cold is good for the bluebirds. (holds off the swallows.) white-crowned sparrow. tree sparrow. song sparrow, living up to its name. like little waves of wind across the snow. and here, someone walked the word ‘good’ into it. and there are still coyote tracks that I wish I had time to follow. little flock of grebes flies off the river. redtailed hawk.


3.21.17

(53/33)

sticky red maple flowers. did I ever call such things subtle? robins and redwings. tree sparrows. coyotes freaking out! why? windy and from the north — a good chill. just canada geese on the marsh today. bluebird pair. common goldeneye. something’s making the geese complain. coyote? tree swallow. bluebird defending its nesting box. the battle begins. it was in the cards. a rite of passage. bluebirds super active. sun warming up. song sparrows. best vs worst? or best is worst? monkey trap. fear of letting go. but look. if it’s here and then gone, then isn’t the deepest pain still a kind of pleasure? look for the joy, beautiful heart. ‘the kingdom of heaven is within’ turkey vulture. cardinals. I might break. Why pretend otherwise? 3 crows. robins chickadees. redtailed hawk. redwings. redwings. redwings. song sparrow. a very chatty bluebird. another swallow. fox sparrow. waning moon just past half. clouds all feathers and vertebrae. how can i judge? and isn’t it right to step away? ‘you must try to fly’ do ir or don’t. ‘i’ve got my own hell to raise’ junco. song sparrow. tree sparrow. the understory. greening. nuthatches. even this joy, seemingly outside myself, requires presence and an open heart — requires cultivation and courtship. coopers hawk. a butterfly. anglewing of some sort. redtailed hawk. muskrat in the pond. mallards. bluebird. redbellied woodpecker.


3.23.17

(29/50)

robins and tree sparrows. redwings. song sparrow. little flock of grackles. redtailed hawk. tree swallows. canada geese. pied-billed grebe. 4 wood ducks. turkey vulture. redbellied woodpecker. juncos. bluejays. bluebird and his lady friend. cardinals. crisis of confidence. what do I even want? bluebirds! here’s one on top of last year’s mullein. song sparrow. white-throated sparrow. sandhill cranes at the edge of hearing. mourning dove. 2 shovelers. chickadees. nuthatch. brown creeper. downy woodpecker. northern harrier, pair.

Notes:
Quote 1: (bend, break): Jesca Hoop / ‘Pegasi’ from Memories Are Now (2017)
Quote 2: (heaven): Funkadelic / title track from Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow (1970)
Quote 3: (fly): Nick Cave / ‘The Ship Song’ from The Good Son (1990)
Quote 4: (hell): Fiona Apple / ‘Sleep to Dream’ from Tidal (1996)


about fieldnotes

fieldnotes was written at the Marsh beginning Sept. 26, 2016 and ending near the same time in the following year, collected in memo books over the course of many rambling walks.
Beginning on Sept. 26, 2019, three years after the writing, fieldnotes will be published in its entirety, with posts appearing as the corresponding write-dates occur.
(at least to the best of my ability)

fieldnotes 3.14.17

Shivered

… finally, winter comes …

Don’t take our eyes.
Gravity, magnetism —
the weight and the wire —
thinly, in between
to draw us in and in.

You must carry the moon without claiming it.
Not fickle, but free-ranging —
the sirens when not singing,
in snow that’s never been stept on.

Don’t go underground.

If you shivered,
I’d bring a blanket.

Who can brave closer now?

There,
we are left to it,
and the crow comes.

Don’t take our eyes.



3.14.17

(28/20)

quieter. redwings and canada geese. tracks in the snow. a vole? then rabbit. harrier. a runner passes and now i can walk in his footsteps. better leverage. cardinals in the mixing bowl. chickadees. robins. pair of bluebirds. everyone’s all puffed up to stay warm. a third, very vivid bluebird. fox sparrow. flicker. fox sparrow. coyote. fearless. nuthatch. little flock of song sparrows. cardinal. coyote tracks, at least two, between the pond and the river. heron. eastern phoebe. mallards. and here are more coyote tracks. 3 or 4 this time.


about fieldnotes

fieldnotes was written at the Marsh beginning Sept. 26, 2016 and ending near the same time in the following year, collected in memo books over the course of many rambling walks.
Beginning on Sept. 26, 2019, three years after the writing, fieldnotes will be published in its entirety, with posts appearing as the corresponding write-dates occur.
(at least to the best of my ability)

fieldnotes 3.7-9.17

Home

Despite red beads of buds on branches,
the wind asserts itself,
battling the morning warming sun,
redwings naming their boundaries.

Scouting deeper,
we are constantly surprised,
at whitecaps on the Marsh
and again from higher ground,
its rough play.

We step back two —
suspended energy that fills the between.
Does the refusal to make a beginning make unending?
Can you feel it now?



3.7.17

(65/44)

swallows over the water, two. killdeer. windy! from the northwest, so chilly. after last night’s storms out of the south. long thing black segmented caterpillar. hear a song sparrow. mourning dove. sandhill crane pair has maybe returned? circling and calling. robins. 3 goldfinches, looking a bit more golden. chickadees. canada geese. wind on the water. turkey vulture. chickadees. redbellied woodpecker. tree sparrows, i think. river is quiet today. no ducks. a pretty man who asks about birds. coopers hawk. merganser. 2 cormorants. blue-eyed boy.


3.9.17

(41/29)

keep this for yourself. the whole flock of robins and redwings and redwings and redwings. horned grebe. song sparrow. barest hint of greening on the trees. willows and undergrowth, mostly. 2 canada geese making a nest. cardinal treetop. singing. east wind, bit crisp. northern flicker. robins shifting into spring behavior. 2 mallards. pair of downy woodpeckers. bluejay. how we suppress too much and feel it longer than we ought. chickadees. cardinals. in the mixing bowl. nuthatch. trickle of water in the bottoms. smells like dirt. turkey vulture. coyote. redbellied woodpecker. lotta limbs down after yesterday’s big wind. redtailed hawk.


about fieldnotes

fieldnotes was written at the Marsh beginning Sept. 26, 2016 and ending near the same time in the following year, collected in memo books over the course of many rambling walks.
Beginning on Sept. 26, 2019, three years after the writing, fieldnotes will be published in its entirety, with posts appearing as the corresponding write-dates occur.
(at least to the best of my ability)

fieldnotes 2.28.17

Fat Tuesday

I am not here,
and I am not her.
Trickster —
valentines and deathwishes —
all out of season —

(Don’t you remember I take them seriously?)

I keep forgetting
how you did not mean sister
when you said sister

(and the rain is coming soon).

Must everything leave these bruises?
Watch hunger make a feast of the narrow.
And there are masks,
and there are masks.
We do not recognize the beast we feed until too late.

(Now what are you going to do with me?)

A soldier in a fool’s army,
a mutineer,
false face,
a walk through mud,
and there were masks,
and there were masks

(and we never could suffer the command).

But then that is how I do not fit.
There was nothing I could do.
And nothing ever changes.

So I will cover my face.
And I will cover my face.
Wait and march the thin parade
until I fall and shatter.



2.28.17

(60/47)

cardinals. canada geese. redwings. grackle. song sparrow. bluebird. little swarms of bugs. more birds sooner rather than later? is it enough to see the evidence of my influence? no. not really. but is there a choice? no. not really. coopers hawk. mallards. those little slugs again. little tree sparrow. bluebirds for goodbye.


about fieldnotes

fieldnotes was written at the Marsh beginning Sept. 26, 2016 and ending near the same time in the following year, collected in memo books over the course of many rambling walks.
Beginning on Sept. 26, 2019, three years after the writing, fieldnotes will be published in its entirety, with posts appearing as the corresponding write-dates occur.
(at least to the best of my ability)

fieldnotes 2.23.17

Warming

Low, circling,
only the redtail hawk to see.
Quick! —
while no one else is looking —
into the woods!

Once in,
take your time —
never be too fast for knowing.
Un-name, then new-name everything.

Be of it,
even when to do so means to share its wrongness.

(Let the others manufacture sin.)

We thought we were on the brink of failure,
but in truth we’ve fallen far past it,
and it’s a deep well.
Who knows how far to bottom?



2.23.17

(57/38)

redwings and redwings and redwings and redwings. 50 degrees at 9 am. ‘drink from the old well’ big flock of blackbirds — grackles? noisy canada geese. pair of buffleheads. mallard flocks. maybe a shoveler? chuckling nuthatch. quiet bluebirds. robins high in a tree. surely this warm spell can’t last much longer? redwings staking territory. song sparrows. hawks on the thermals. vernal pool. coots soon? bluebird and redwing. big flock of grackles flies over. and another. cardinal. a call i recognize but can’t i.d. honey locust. ‘who walked the curve of the world.’ dandelions just poking through. cool shell. no frogs. good. garbage though. i hate that. robin. mallards. cardinals. something gray and too fast. redtail and again that known but unnamed song. little black sluggy things. redwings and robins. redwings. crows. redwings. ‘be a part of all things’


Notes:
Quote 1 & 3: (‘old well, all things’): Jesca Hoop / ‘Cut Connection’ from Memories Are Now (2017)
Quote 2: (“curve of the world”): Patti Smith / ‘Beneath the Southern Cross’ from Gone Again (1996)


about fieldnotes

fieldnotes was written at the Marsh beginning Sept. 26, 2016 and ending near the same time in the following year, collected in memo books over the course of many rambling walks.
Beginning on Sept. 26, 2019, three years after the writing, fieldnotes will be published in its entirety, with posts appearing as the corresponding write-dates occur.
(at least to the best of my ability)