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Eagle Owl (draw a bird day)

spread your wings
carry the night in
silent flight

The eagle owl is both one of the largest and longest-lived owls. With wing spans up to 6 feet, it has no natural predators, although it is sometimes mobbed by crows. The leading causes of death– electrocution, hunting, and poisoning–are man-made.

Nesting on cliffs or rocky outcrops, it has a wide distribution throughout Europe and Asia. I love its binomial name–Bubo Bubo.

Eagle owls are solitary, territorial, and nocturnal. They can more often be heard, having a large number of vocalizations, than seen.

For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice.

April 2021 (Renewal)

#6 water lilies s

the seed waits, dreaming–
colors pulse in liquid sound
spirit overflows

This is a reprisal of my April 2015 grid with a new poem for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, haiku/senryu. The collage and original haiku were inspired by Monet’s waterlilies.

I’m going to continue my monthly grid and draw-a-bird day here, while I will be posting for NaPoWriMo on kblog.

water lilies: green
creeping, imperceptible,
suddenly present

Green Jay (Draw a Bird Day)

clever, curious–
your flashy loud mimicry
a family trait

Continuing my explorations of the Corvid family, I decided to collage and draw a green jay this month. Residents of the Texas borderlands, they are also found in Central and South America. Like all corvids, they are intelligent, adaptable, brash, and have a large variety of vocalizations, including imitating the calls of hawks to drive away food competitors. They also use sticks as tools to pry bark up to get to the insects underneath.

Green jays live and forage communally, in family groups. The populations are currently stable, although habitat destruction is a concern, particularly in Mexico, and around the proposed border wall to be built through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

March 2021

what dream is this?  circling
spiralling into form
slipstreamed fertile reborn
continuous

Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday theme is dreams, so I’ve written a variety of dream poems for March, a dreamy month I think. I’ve interspersed some of my previous March grids.

March 19 grid 2s

in March I
ruminate return
remember
rains that be
come sun-dappled spring—shining,
blooming with birdwings

march 2018 grid s

dreams become
part of the landscape
filling in

march-17-grid-s2

colors
begin to dance
with waves of light, singing
sun into roots, filling
my nights with dreams
of dawn

Poetic forms are, in order, abhanga, shadorma, haiku, badger’s hexastitch.

Year of the Metal Ox

holding pattern—keep
at it, follow through, rebuild,
preserve—demand truth

Happy Chinese New Year!

You can see previous Chinese New Year posts (I missed last year as I was moving) here, here, here, here, and here.

Poem up at the Ekphrastic Review

My poem Upon a Time, inspired by “Spinning Flax”, by Maria Martinetti, below, is posted on The Ekphrastic Review today.

Picture

hushabye, don’t cry–
all the pretty horses fly
shining starborne dreams

You can read the entire poem here.

My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.

Martin Luther King Day 2021

mid-January–
voice of crow under grey skies–
how to fill the hole

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

for earthweal open link weekend

Draw a Bird Day: Warblers

tangled green
flashes of yellow
passing through

Last fall my daughter and I were sitting on Columbia’s campus, talking and drinking coffee and tea, when we noticed a tiny yellowish bird looking for insects in a tree nearby. It looked a lot like the wood warbler I’ve drawn, above.

We didn’t see it well enough to positively identify it, but a birder friend suggested from my description that it was a warbler. Many species migrate through the area, in addition to common local residents like the yellow warbler.

The Blackburnian Warbler can also be found in New York, but I haven’t been lucky enough to see one. I would like to watch the intricate aerial dances they perform when protecting their territories.

I first drew the yellow warbler by itself, and scanned it, as backgrounds are always a problem for me. I’m still not sure about this one, although I like the colors.

Conception (Reprise)

1
imagine
growing roots into
fertile ground

fertile ground
the protective cloak
of the earth

of the earth
talking to the moon
with stillness

with stillness
welcome the new year
imagine

2
always, earth
transitioning—life
rearranged
into new
patterns—open your arms wide–
inhale, welcoming

For Frank Tassone’s #haikai challenge for the New Year, and Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday challenge to write a poem of hope, I’ve written two variations of the same idea, and reprised a collage I did for an earlier #tanka Tuesday in 2019.

Colleen asked us to use our favorite form of poetry and to tell why we like it. Of course I love pantoums and all repetitive poetry, and I often write using Japanese poetic forms, but I most often write in shadorma. Somehow its rhythm and length work well with the way I express my thoughts, and when I’m stuck, it works to focus me, making me consider the exact words I’m using and why.

I used the haiku form of the first poem, with the repeating lines, in a post on kblog, but couldn’t remember where I had seen it. I’ve since discovered it is called Shi Rensa, and it was invented by Ronovan, who has his own haiku and decima challenges at RonovanWrites.

reflections

ancestors speak in voices
carried by skies singing wings

Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt was the watercolor, above. She also challenged us to write a wakiku–two seven-syllable lines that some how connect with the hokku she wrote to accompany the painting. You can read Colleen’s poem here.