The meanings are stretched
until we no longer know how to define what we are,
another shattered shackle,
in its way.
The grass is still green,
the season’s tether loosening.
And it is raining on my feet.
The bluebirds meet me here and we make offerings of smoke and sky
to cold’s long decline
and to these things we can’t define.
Flex against the rope.
Tell the truth and let your blood rise like the water —
to fill but not to flood.
We are so much more in that fullness
than some simple shadow play.
trusting you not to look too directly,
I can acknowledge this:
It is everything to me.
Not how you make me feel,
but how you are
(and long have been)
the cause of feeling.
(Our reasons are small, simple things.)
So, fill your lungs with January,
in all its identity crisis.
Oh, fickle winter.
Let’s make a study of fight and flight.
We might name the seasons whatever we want,
in love with suspended tension,
how a robin’s song in winter is anything but modest or mundane,
how it refuses to allow constraints on the indefinite.
nuthatch. bluebirds. goldfinches. chickadees. lots of flocking today. big flock of robins by the path out. and starlings. downy woodpecker. juncos and more goldfinches. hundreds of robins. how their song fills the winter silence. all the ways we measure time’s passing. cardinal (f). bluejay. curiouser chickadees. the water at the inlet high and fast (song sparrows). busy, busy brain. how everything is tangential. the robins follow, all along the south end. another cardinal. 6 canada geese fly over. milkweed pod shadows look like little birds. fox sparrow. cardinal.
(Identifying sparrows gets easier, I think, when you visit the same place regularly. You come to understand their habits, their seasons and timing.)
redtailed hawk coasting the treeline. V of geese. what are those blue thorns? more goldfinches. aha! muckity muck! reflections of trees in big mucky puddles. stomp stomp. is moss greener in winter? lichens and little round ledges of fungus. we are all eating each other. bluebird. another big flock of robins. singing. blue heron. water is high. chickadees. mallards. goldfinches. golden crowned kinglets. another blue heron. granddaddy on his river. bluejay.
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)