BIRDS ON THE PATIO FEEDERS, NO. 1
A big wind blows the bird feeders from side to side
and thunder mutters to itself but the day
is as bright as Mensa.
Bare branches resembling veins and arteries
look skeletal as the bony, unfleshed medical figure
who dances only when someone jerks his puppet strings.
That big wind scours the sky as if the sky is a giant kitchen sink.
Trees bend, hanging their heads, sorrowful.
Such drama. Yet we are captivated to see
robins, thrushes—early birds not dissuaded
by the big blow, the rumble of thunder, the Danse
They fly with the flow, so light are they, skidding
among a thousand currents of air, tipping
this way or that, free from gravity
perhaps, or only delicately tied
to grand invisible waves of connection—
or affection, given their shared routes.
The pathways birds—and butterflies—establish
could carry us thousands of miles away and
afar were we able to follow them
and some have done so, lugging cameras
and high-priced computers and taking notes.
Or one may simply watch the birds feeding
at the feeders on one’s patio, cardinals
dignified and sometimes even officious,
the finch with his rosy underside, juncos
chasing one another off the little
red schoolhouse that holds birdseed, or the hanging
cylinder that swings every which way in wind.
THE NORTH STAR
Did wise men follow the Star of Bethlehem
to the newborn babe? It’s possible, I guess,
but I am more attracted to the notable North Star:
its unchanging beauty, a star frozen
in the sky except that it is not frozen, is
a fury of fire signaling to us
from 323 lightyears away, saying
hello, saying hi there! It tells us
we are not alone.
Of course it’s hard to converse
with a star but our excellent telescopes help and
astronomers have taken careful note
of its age and size and other such calculations
and they all agree that it is indeed
a beautiful star born to succeed.
THE NORTH POLE
No, it’s not as cold as the South Pole
but it is certainly cold enough.
Any direction you turn in from the Pole
is south, but getting there used to be tough.
Nowadays you may fly to the Pole
or over it. The cold may make you cough.
With a parachute, you can land on the Pole.
You’ll want to add to your equipment a muff
and stuff, considering that the North Pole
is ageing, its sea ice something like the fluff
of our small dog’s coat and certainly cold enough.