Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"I dream an inescapable dream
in which I take away from the country
the bridges and roads, the fences, the strung wires,
ourselves, all we have built and dug and hollowed out,
our flocks and herds, our droves of machines.

     I restore then the wide-branching trees.
I see growing over the land and shading it
the great trunks and crowns of the first forest.
I am aware of the rattling of their branches,
the lichened channels of their bark, the saps
of the ground flowing upward to their darkness.
Like the afterimage of a light that only by not
looking can be seen, I glimpse the country as it was.
All its beings belong wholly to it.  They flourish
in dying as in being born.  It is the life of its deaths."

                                                                              from The Dream

                                                                                    Wendell Berry

As often happens when bad weather and lassitude
combine to keep me in, I fall back on the denizens of 
my backyard feeders for my photographic subjects. 
The Downy woodpecker was a nice change as all to often
I am left with a few native birds and a host of introduced species.
I felt the poetry fragment from Berry and my own poem make
nice bookends for this themecontrast. While I would like to see the 
world of the Plains Grizzly, the vast herds of Bison and Pronghorn 
or even further back the Dire Wolf, Sabretooth and 
Short Faced Bear I am not sure that world would like me.

So sparrows it is.


Eye, Fly, Awry in this Landscape of Words,

They say don’t feed the birds, you encourage
dependence, promote non-native species.
who knew, it seemed such a harmless lark.

And what is the result of my two week vacation,
starvation throughout Brentwood stretching to
Dalhousie and Charlewood, or is it more widespread.

They do fly after all and we go through a lot of seed,
will they be dropping in Shanghai and Topeka,
and if not mass starvation, perhaps delinquency.

The whole of bird society breaking down, begging,
sexual license, belling cats, downing power lines
pushing each other into the air intakes of jets.

Or could it be positive, native species returning
Bluebirds, Martins sundry Warblers all jostling
wildly for the vacant nesting boxes and bird baths.

Maybe we should think big, Passenger Pigeons,
Carolina Parakeets, Labrador Ducks, who knows
what these misplaced Weaver Birds were up to.

Maybe we will see the great brown spurts of Bison
moving out of the river valleys with their attendant
packs of Grey Wolves and lumbering Plains Grizzlies.

And if I stop feeding the sleek Black Squirrels
that hang like misshapen fruit from my feeders,
what can I get for that?

1 comment:

Celeste said...

Wonderful winter scenes from your yard Guy. That is one super-fluffy squirrel!