Posts Tagged 'birds'

Belva Sparrow

(Prompts: taken from six books, chosen randomly. Write for 15 minutes.)

Grammar of justice, syntax of mutual aid. Drawing us from tree to tree toward the time and the unknown place where we shall know what it is to arrive. Not one by one, but in passionate clusters, we pressed the grapes to our lips. The room is small, the table plain.Later and older, now we had supper, a little. A grayish bird, the size, perhaps, of two plump sparrows.

 

Two plump sparrows sat on a limb on a tree on a cold winter day. The first sparrow, a philosopher, mumbled continuously about an unknown place.

An unknown place, he grumbled. An unknown place.

The other sparrow, whose name is Belva MacDonald, is given to homilies and humming.

“We shall know what it is to arrive,” says Belva. She sings a soaring and ratcheting song that tells all the songbirds where she is and what she is about.

In passionate clusters, the birds gather in the winter air, feathers inflated and steaming with fast, hot bird circulation. With an average resting heart rate of 500 beats per minute, the finch, the sparrow and the towhee compete for craving; which small bird wants the rose hip enough to take it out of the mouth of others?

Inside the small grey house, there is a window. In front of the window is a small table with two chairs, a salt shaker and a basket of walnuts. The walnuts smell musty. Belva pushes a walnut across the table with her beak, making a concentrating sound, click-click, ticketa-tick. The walnut falls to the ground and she lifts off and lands on the floor with a rustling of wings. The walnut, stubbornly remaining whole, rolls easily but does not give up its fruit. After a while, not very long, but long enough in sparrow time, Belva gives up on the walnut and returns to the table and from there to the window. She looks out the window, which has been closed for an eternity, or it may have been 15 minutes, in the life time of a small brown sparrow in a winter house with drafty corners. She sits, alone at first, but gradually, as the day warms, the other birds stir and join her, up there on the window sill, with the grey winter fields and the slash of mud where there’s been a frost and refreeze not three weeks ago.

Advertisements

Fields

 

Me and my downward dog have some serious stretching to do before the market wakes. Before the market wakes, we open our eyes and stare out the window, where morning has not occurred to the mammals but the fowl are restive already. Craking, clicking, clacking, honking, chittering; beating sounds rise from the morning twilight and hang in the air, clack, click, honk, chitter. A bitter cold hovers above the warmth of sound, pressing down, cold ground, old ground, rolling over in the comforter, covering the mountain shoulders, shuddering back into the warm down spread. The warm dawn spreads slowly at first, after the snow showers, after the winds, and rises like a surprise resurrection, like an unexpected birthday party, and there the show of hands, of delphiniums, of daffodils, rise up again, tentatively answers a question that has not yet been asked.

Downward dog and me stretch and roll through the belly, the spine, on the gritty floor in front of the fire and then lie flat, staring at the ceiling with arms held out, ready for crucifixion or the shining oil of loss on a puddle in the middle of some pitted street. Downward dog and me stretch and sigh and rise up into the future with cobra, hang silently in trees, unseen. The weather waits, coiled, until we forget, then brings us down again, too soon warm, too late to hibernate. There is a bell that rings in the changing woods, a deep bell that rings, calling the birds, the seedlings, the writhing pink worm to keep moving; athetoid, it turns in upon itself until suddenly a reaching branch turns white, blush, and bleeding green. Time for market, time to pull on socks and drink tea, time to watch the spring birds rise up and leave the wintering fields.

Lost my compass. Anyone seen it?

Drat.

My brain’s gone walkabout again.

Don’t know where, exactly. When I look inside my own head, I see mostly fog.

Maybe it’s the new year making me fuzzy (August is my new year).

The chickens, geese and keets seem more important than writing.

I can’t seem to get enough sleep.

 

Maybe it’s the weather.

 

Maybe it’s my disorganized office.

Maybe it’s my hormones.

 Maybe it’s astrological.

 

Maybe it’s nothing at all.

I’ll be back when I’ve got something to say. Or when my office is clean.

Whichever comes first.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 165,188 hits

Archives

Categories

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031