Saturday, November 24, 2007

Winter wildlife...

A local deer in our backyard, spotted just this morning, as I was
making my way to the creek beyond.... and two wild birds pausing a moment by the creekside to look for fish. Care to join me for tea?

Clearing of the Air

At age 12, I began my career as a solo performing artist/storyteller....  Wearing a dining room drape and cardboard wings, I told the tale of Mercury to my fellow 6th graders at Greenwood Elementary, in Des Moines, Iowa.  And I use this photo to herald a Clearing-of-the-Air,   so that I can proceed with newer things.  Here then, in this blog-entry, are a few of my more favorite poems written in years past.

I live in the land of the Home of the Wind
and the house where he dwells is my tent.
I know it -- I'm sure -- for I've seen him right here
putting all of his force on the flap of my tent
to get in, and when in, it's horrendously cold
and he fills the insides so there's nary a fold
in the sides of my tent as I sit huddled up
in my sleeping bag warm, just watching the wind
as he takes on the form of my tent.
--May 1971, Wheeler's Ranch, CA

Cloud over my head.
Tide coming up underfoot.
Top sheet, bottom sheet.
--May 1980, Newburyport, MA

They say to write of what you know.
What I know is this:
that sometimes I prefer waves of cormorants
plunging into the sea
and flocks of terns
skimming over the dunes
while walking alone
in the mist....
that sometimes I prefer moonglow
rippling the tidal marsh
and midnight call
of startled bird
while standing alone
that sometimes I know that it's really not a choice
where I am or 
what I see....
that sometimes I know that it really doesn't matter
where I go or
what I do...
that sometimes midst glass and steel
and clicks and hums
while sitting


I know that the Potter knows his clay.
  --September 1980, Boston, MA
And while there are many more of this ilk (many found in my unpublished chapbook "Double Exposure"),  I will spare you.  
Instead, I'll make things WORSE, by including my parody poems here.  May they amuse you....

It's morning and the slimey worms
Are twisting, turning in the ground.
All over all are ants and bees
And the vile moles abound.

"Beware the coat-tailed ones, my boy
The hands that scold, the voice that snaps!
Beware the vile bluejay
And shun small boys with caps!"

He took his Swiss blade knife in hand,
It seemed forever he did seek.
So sat he down and with a frown
He puzzled, tired and weak.

And as he sat disgruntled there
A coat-tailed one in fearsome mood
Complaining to the very air
Came tramping loudly as he could.

One! Two!  And through and through!
His Swiss blade knife did cut and whack!
He cut the coat all up in shreds
And brought the coattails back.

"My God!  You killed?" his father gasped.
"Oh no, dear dad," laughed prankish son.
"Then bring your bait!  Your pole!  Your asp!
We'll go a'fishing!  Ah, what fun!"

It's morning and the slimey worms
Are twisting, turning in the ground.
All over all are ants and bees
And the vile moles abound.
--November 1980, Newburyport, MA

I will arise and go now, and go to the top of the hill,
And a medicine wheel formed there, of stones in a circle made;
Around me flowering bush there, and the bird's sweet warbling trill,
And sit in silence in the sun and shade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes from deep within,
Spreading from the heart's first dawning to when the breath is deep;
There the dawn's a gentle sigh, and noon a playful whim,
And evening full of the coming sleep.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the wind rustle with soft sounds through the trees;
While I sit in the circle, or stand along the way,
My heart does hear the sound that frees.
-September 2004, Durango, CO

Whose woodies these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his cars fill up with snow.

My big ol' van just coughs and veers
To stop within an inch of here
Between the woodies and frozen creek
The darkest evening of the year.

I give my horn a great big blast
To ask for food, and get it fast.
The only other sound's the beep
Of an old Hudson in mud deep.

The woodies are lovely but I need sleep.
And I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
--February 2006, Durango, CO
And indeed I do have miles to go before I sleep.  
Tempted as my ego is to include more, I STOP!  Sleep well, dear reader if you are even there.....
Peace, Sara

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Looking Back at You...

Blowin' in the wind....


We climb.
We climb higher and higher
and steeper and steeper.
There are ten of us, all seniors
meaning aging adults.
But I climbed alone.
I recall stopping to point out
a purple daisy...
"Aster?" I asked but
no-one was there to hear me.

We climb
and they climbed faster than me.
I recall approaching them all,
gathered at a natural ledge.
Looking out to the long valley
far below, I comment,
"That rapid looks so small
from here."
But they had all climbed on.

In time, as we ascended,
they were distant white ghosts
in a sea of oranges and reds
while I listened first
to my breath somewhat labored.
Then I heard my walk and now
I heard dried leaves crackle underfoot,
which brought forth the pleasant
dusty-musty scent of dried leaves.

I stopped.
High enough now, I could gaze
on entire hillsides.
Oranges, yellows, reds -- all oakbrush
after the fire --
and that view was highlighted
by stark white dead trees,
their bark long fallen off.

I wanted to string tuned wires
between the lyre forms
now revealed in the tree-trunks.
What sound would I hear then,
played by the wind?

I used to stand on another ridge,
guitar in hand
fingers in shifting chord formation
and single fingerings.

And with that strong seasonal wind
I held the guitar out there
And I let the wind
blow me the answer.