Wednesday, November 28, 2012

And The Season Passes / Still Life With Raven

Nancy:   It can happen slowly, greens flowing to scarlet, to saltmarsh gold, to the brass and bronze of the last days of fall.  Ice forms at the edges of the bay.  The migrating birds finally fall silent, and every year the restlessness seizes me.  

And The Season Passes

Courting forgotten
the birds at the feeder
jostle and thrust.

Every late storm/early storm
their weavings come undone
nest bits litter the branches.

The slow, the weak
fed the sharp-shinned hawk.
The almost-sleek preen, and preen.

Bits of down lift and disperse.

This is our season of watching.
The saltmarsh flares and fades,
shorebirds shifting restlessly.

Line storms batter the marsh, the meadow
and the birds, all equals now,
judge their time.

Then they turn to the sky
summer strength lifting them
they turn to the star maps.

Quiet days, sharp nights.

Undecipherable maps
scratches on the moon
life pared to its bony core.

Alan: Fall – when whatever innocence that remains to us crumbles.  Raven, as usual, can’t resist a comment.

Still Life with Raven

The goldenrod is old and bleached.
Her bees have gone to ground or died.
This is the sight cruel Hopkins preached
to the child Margaret, who cried.

The fall of leaf and Man coeval –
bitter tonic for one so young!
Within the germ, the gnawing weevil;
malignance in the growing bone.

Beyond the goldenrod, the marsh.
Beyond the marsh, a tongue of sea
whispers a lesson just as harsh:
“I sunder all.  I sunder thee.”

Over rough fields, a raven, drifting,
calls out in laughter or disdain:
“The world like the wind is ever-shifting.
Weep if you will: you weep in vain.”

Not quite of earth, nor yet of heaven –
wise or just canny, who can say? –
the last word still belongs to Raven,
riding the wind on Judgment Day.

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