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,
and a place to fall back to
in your own beautiful heart.
When will you learn to take to
A surface barely frozen waits for sun,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)