February 11, 2017 by 10 Comments
January 22, 2017 by 24 Comments
December 13, 2016 by 17 Comments
Photo: Sparrows in flight near Minsk, Belarus. Sergei Grits (AP)
November 28, 2016 by 16 Comments
November 18, 2016 by 15 Comments
August 24, 2016 by 23 Comments
Once I witnessed a windstorm so severe two 100-year-old trees were uprooted on the spot. The next day, walking among the wreckage, I found the friable nests of birds, completely intact and unharmed on the ground. That the featherweight survive the massive, that this reversal of fortune takes place among us — that is what haunts me. I don’t know what it means.
~ Mary Ruefle, Remarks on Letters from Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures
August 8, 2016 by 11 Comments
Remember the giant whooping crane on the county highway
whose mate had been hit, stretched out dead at the center
of the road? She stood by him, wings open and flapping, shrewd
voice anxious, screaming, her dark red crown bowing in her descent
through the rim of despair. With each oncoming car she took a short
running flight to get our of the way, pacing the side of the road until
she could return to him. The next day, when still there, exhausted,
wings tattered and brown, we scraped what left of her lover
off the asphalt with a snow shovel, and laid the body on the low,
dry treadgrass by the embankment. The birds had come that July
to our swill, which had filled with monsoon rain. She stood there
close to us, in the still, yellowing grass, her interminable legs wobbling
underneath her body. The long toes of her feet twitching. That
shallow silver dish of my mind chattering, lay hold of me. Lay hold.
~ Elizabeth Jacobson,”Lay Hold of Me,” The American Poetry Review (July/August 2016)
July 3, 2016 by 37 Comments
DK: How much for the bird seed?
DK: $40? Per bag?
DK: How many bags a month?
I do the math: (# bags) x (months in a season) x ($40) x (10 years) = blood pressure increase. And the torment was first recorded here in this post: Squirrels. Cardinals. Bumble Bees. And Me.
Pick any spring.
Or any summer, or any fall for that matter.
Or any year, for the past 10 years that we’ve lived in this house.
The picture: Same.
I’m sitting, reading in the backyard, transported to C.S. Lewis‘ world of becoming of a thousand men and yet remaining myself…seeing with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see. But, what I see, damn it, is Vermin.
Interrupting my bliss is their rustling. Their relentless rattling of aluminum, scratching and clawing at seed. Hanging upside down, these ravenous beady eyed creatures work to empty the bird feeders one by one – frightening off the intended recipients, who flutter up to the leafy branches overhead until the insatiable keel over from exhaustion.