Awakened from my walking reverie by movement ahead, I spy a Red-Tailed Hawk perched upon the wrought-iron railing of the flood-wall. The hawk is regal, stoic beauty. I stop walking in hopes of urging the bird of prey to stay its perch. It does, filling me with a sense of relief. I wonder why it let me get so close; if it was my calm, thoughts-up-in-the-clouds, meditative stroll that somehow rendered my thoughts and steps silent enough to catch the bird unawares. We eye each other, a bitter gust of mid-winter wind blows against my face; ruffles the back-feathers of the hawk. I am overwhelmed by a sensation how the two of us know exactly what we are, who we are, what we are supposed to be doing overall, but we are presently caught in a moment of unknowns, letting these unknowns erase the lines that keep us separate -- beast from human.
I take a step closer, causing the hawk to finally alight, and I am struck by its vibrant feathers adding a dash of colour to the surrounding monochromatic grays.
The hawk flies only a short distance ahead before landing on the railing again, so we re-enact the scene of this play. I come closer, closer, closer, until the hawk lifts up, flies a bit further along the river-walk, before landing again, until eventually it probably decides, that indeed, this human is going to traverse the entire path, for the hawk flies up into trees located further ahead. As I walk past the trees, the hawk launches out of an evergreen, with twigs in its talons. The bird flies over the river; a river made tumultuous by ice-melt.
in Winter's gray light
a Red-Tailed Hawk paints the sky
with its feathers,
my soul lifts, follows the bird
over an ice-gorged river
The hawk lands on the base of a church steeple, and disappears behind an ornately carved corner. It appears as if the steeple is attempting to pierce the snow-clouds with its tip, trying to tear gashes in the sky, until spring blue bleeds into gray. On this Tuesday afternoon, does the church seem personified because it is devoid of Sunday parishioners milling in and out of its thick wooden doors? No matter how hard the steeple tries to break-apart the clouds, the grand sky dwarfs the church, causing it to look like a toy model. The church fluctuates between looking like a miniature-scale model, and an architectural feat.
the steeple pierces clouds
looming overhead -
the snow-laden clouds
make the church appear small
Passing the church, I find it ironic how today the church is empty inside, yet on its steeple and roof-lines, countless animals are nesting, making this House of God their sanctuary. Slowly making my way home, I ponder about the hawk, how it is not only a predator amongst prey, but a predator amongst predators -- it flies around in plain sight, yet also hides right in the middle of the city. Coming up to the path leading to the back-door of my home, I scan a small trail of footprints in the snow. The footprints vary, but all are familiar to me.
It is at precisely this moment that I fully acknowledge the Red-Tailed Hawk and I to be kindred spirits; how similar we really are.
the path leading home
is a winding snowy trail
of few footprints,
for only my loved ones know
where I truly live
As River flows.
As river flows so peacefully
I sit here just content to be
As Ravens fly so high above
This morning, it was made for love
It enters deep into my soul
It’s sweetness making me so whole
This softest morning mystery
Oh, how it reaches out to me
The trees, they dance so gracefully
They wave, and flow upon the breeze
Bird song drifts from happy branches
Oh lord, how this my heart enhances
Silence rules above all this
A kind of stillness filled with bliss
Captivates my very core
Oh, I’d not wish for any more.
The river peaceful, calm and still
So wonderful it makes me feel
As it reflects those dancing trees
I watch and let the morning breeze
Caress my skin so tenderly
Then all is gone, there’s only me
The emptiness of all that is
I’m sailing on the waves of bliss.
15 March 2014 @ 0705hrs.
Poe laid flowers on her grave
His lost Lenore
One he’d love forevermore
But doomed to see her nevermore
Storm clouds expelled true daylight
Yet near her grave on a dead oak tree
An ebony raven stared and seemed to agree
“Nevermore,” the bird mocked, flying off with ironic glee
Clouds burst, pelting the cemetery with rain
Back to his horse and carriage Poe ran
Was Poe a pawn in this raven’s game plan
An unhealthy racing of his heart began
Arriving home, Poe sought to forget
But there was the red-eyed, sinister bird
Perched on the pallid bust of Pallas, it said just one word
“Nevermore,” was all Poe heard
Stealthily the bird had entered through an open window
“Did God summon you to add to my grief?”
Poe pleaded, “Will I ever find relief?”
“Nevermore,” cried the demon, to Poe’s disbelief
Poe tried to rid his home of the tormenting invader
“Fly away; take your word with you!”
But the evil visitor would not bid adieu
Its single word was malicious; Poe could not misconstrue
When rainfall ended, the raven flew to the windowsill
“Be gone!” Poe screamed, his voice filled with hate
It eyed him once more, leaving Poe in a crazed state
But loving memories of Lenore it could not desecrate
*Written October 1, 2014
Did you hear the night bird call
as Summer tumbled into Fall
and leaves piled up against the wall,
it's then you miss her most of all.
Did you hear the night bird sing
as Winter tumbled into Spring
though flowers bloom, no joy they bring,
her absence colors everything.
Did you hear the night bird cry
as endless seasons tumbled by,
unanswered still, the reason why
she left you here alone to die.
Did you hear the night bird's song
as time forever tumbled on,
memories, the grief prolong,
without her everything is wrong.
wrapped tight in brown cloak,
flashing Mona Lisa eyes -
The Morning Sun Speaks
Vainly, I smile at a fine morning sun
ponder today's tasks waiting to be done
Embrace and savor this very sweet morn
enjoy life, that is why we were first born
Sparrow drinking at my lone bird fountain
clouds soaring into another mountain
I see the carefree bird fly far away
consider the high price I dearly pay
Happily my soul spoke to the red sun
life races onward as I freely run
My toils are but life tokens to be spent
spirit lives with our love paying no rent
The morning sun spoke yet again to me
live, love and grab hold of life yet to be!
Robert J. Lindley, 08-27-2014
While you sleep I tell you all of the things I keep inside throughout day.
Now that you can hear but not listen I find them much easier to say.
My hopes, my dreams, my fears, and everything in between
Your subconscious hears so keen, or so it seems.
My tongue is soft; I speak so sweetly
Knowing your reaction will never greet me.
Tonight will be different in what I want you to know.
It has everything to do with what I can’t help but show.
I hold no claim to any religion but you’ve given me a place for my faith.
Somewhere it will never stale or lose its lavish taste.
You’ve shown me something I can see, touch, and feel,
And so before it I choose to kneel.
I know I don’t say it but I miss you every day.
Sitting, thinking of the perfect words to be my choice,
Yet when you call I can’t find any of the right words to say.
I’m just happy to finally hear your voice.
Even just a moment is enough to sooth my heavy heart;
Fearing the ends of conversations knowing we’ll have to part.
I’ll never be too far from you, always within arm’s reach,
And in your days of darkness I’ll be the light that you will seek.
I’ll never let you leave too far from me, I’ll stay close behind you in this world;
Secretly protecting what is mine, you will always be my girl.
I only want the best for you so the best of me I will employ.
Faithfully yours, I will always be your boy.
I close my eyes and kiss your soft sweet lips
And see the very best of you in loving bliss.
I see past the physical which makes you attractive
And focus on the things I can’t see in which I’m attracted.
Your thoughts I’d love to hear them all.
Of the things you speak disinterest never makes its call.
My day will come, I know someday I’ll be the only one.
And you I will pursue viciously,
Because I’ve given you the greatest gift I can give, to love unconditionally.
Yes our day will come, I know someday we’ll be as one.
And you I will pursue viciously,
Because I’ve given you the greatest gift I can give… to love unconditionally.
When I was young and life was easy
I never thought but of the next day.
For the young, things can be so breezy
It is the child's way.
I never thought but of the next day
Until that day came upon me.
It is the child's way
And I did not want to see.
Until that day came upon me
I was carefree like the bird on high.
And I did not want to see
The dark adult horizons that would make me cry.
I was carefree like the bird on high
Only to be trapped by love
The dark adult horizons that would make me cry
Crushing me down from above.
Only to be trapped by love
For the young, things can be so breezy
Crushing me down from above
When I was young and life was easy.
Dan Cwiak ... written for:
Paula Swanson's Pantoum contest
T he birds have been around for centuries.
H ow sweetly singing, winging on their way,
E vanescent as a summer breeze. . .
B ringing bliss supreme; then gone one day.
I n your bloom of youth, one bird appears.
R adiant, you’ll soar to splendor’s height,
D runk with joy till passion disappears.
S tung by love undone, you’ll face your plight.
A las, your bird has turned into a bee.
N aïve no longer, you have felt love’s sting.
D evoted love you’ll seek as remedy!
T hough you’ll wish to hear a new bird sing,
H eartache may await. You must recall
E ventually sweet passion’s birds become. . .
B ees! How can you know real love at all?
E yes open, you must seek a faithful one;
E phemeral are the birds and yes, the bees.
S till they will persist for centuries!
FOR PD's Acrostic II Contest
Cherry blossoms declare it is Spring
Infatuation's breeze is in the air
Dormant days have burst into green
Wonder and awe are everywhere
Love is birthed in those who dare
The young boys compete for attention
And young girls give charmed sighs
Spring butterflies too many to mention
As innocence is kissed goodbye
The birds and bees you can't deny!
Sponsor: Francine Roberts
Contest Name: A Spring Day in English Quintain
By: Dave Wood