Stone and Jar
When do we cross that line —
when, instead of endings,
winter teases us with beginnings?
A bare sense of sky pushes against the gray,
and hundreds of robins mix with juncos, bluebirds and goldfinches.
And I harbor the healing,
but know deep in bone and blood,
a fever lies in wait.
It is as though your fingers have closed upon something once harvested
that sits in a jar on your highest shelf,
as you contemplate an indulgence,
put pressure on the lid.
And I am the loneliest in a crowd of bootprints,
making the prairie a part of myself,
and myself a part of the prairie,
running my thumb along the stone’s edge again.
How can we be so in and out of time at once?
Standing in the bent cattails overlooking the gray ice of the marsh,
we measure this weight: stone and jar.
an old metaphor comes to call. the sun is trying today. feels like maybe it’ll break the clouds any minute, but it doesn’t. another flock of robins with some regulars mixed in. the prairie at a distance: browns, grays, tans and copper reds. another flock of robins at the inlet. song sparrows. juncos. cardinal. singing chickadees. geese and geese, I hear a goldfinch. and yet another flock of robins in the mixing bowl. some goldfinches that already look at bit yellower than they were. a song sparrow. robins taking baths. busy busy robins. sharp shinned hawk. i hear nuthatches. gull of some sort. big flock of starlings. river still high but settled. chickadees. mallards. redtailed hawk. juncos. flicker. merganser! big flock of robins and very curious goldfinches. they seem playful today. juncos. cardinal with a scar, high on the left side of his breast.
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)