flashes of yellow
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.
tree lights sparkling
music and kitchen cheer
exchanging gifts of Love Actu
Colleen’s challenge this week was to write a cinquain reflecting our Christmas traditions. A tree with lights, music, cooking (especially those cookies!) and watching “Love Actually”–my daughters and I were lucky enough to share all these again this year.
I hope everyone separated from family and friends for this holiday season will be able to celebrate being together soon.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the earthweal challenge this week, to write a poem of thanks. It all came down to the same thing: I’m thankful for life, to be alive. But I couldn’t think of another better way to say it.
grace, this balancing—darkness
shining into light
Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating, and those who are not. May we remember and honor all life with care and gratitude.
and I am reminded again of who I am,
what I see when I look up at the night sky,
the scent of the earth in spring–
I feel the summer lingering,
long days of sun and sand
and the salty taste I carry
through days that follow me in rhythm
with the waves–
I see the sharpness of blue sky
behind black branches,
a playground of white snow
that culminates in hot chocolate,
the inside warming the outer—
I have been uprooted and transplanted
so many times that nowhere is home–
everything is temporary–
I’m always expecting to move on–
but I remember looking up
through the shade of oak trees,
the roses in my mother’s garden,
lilacs filled with butterflies—
the rust and gold of autumn
singing beneath my feet
For the earthweal challenge, a song of earth-praise from 2019. How far away that seems now. But I am still thinking of my mother.
remnants of autumn bending
landscapes into dreams
beneath winter’s frost
ancient stonesongs murmur
from seed to spring
haiku and gogyohka from the Oracle
Who knows the questions? or the time?
What if there is no time?
What if all the time has all been wasted, or lost?
When karma comes around,
where will it go?
Why keep running into the same things?
How did we get here?
If only I knew
how to fix it all–
I would be honored
to be unremissed.
I’ve been having trouble completing things lately. Bjorn at dVerse has us asking Google to finish our thoughts. Perfect.
What I learned:
1) Many of those searching on Google are thinking about death–lots of killing and dying going on.
2) And remiss. Many many of us feel we are remiss.
hungry birds scatter
blue wings appear
a raucous throng
A gogyohka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice.
I’ve been hearing blue jays everywhere I go for the last month. Since I’ve already featured blue jays, I decided to draw and paint its West Coast relative, the Stellar’s Jay. Like all jays, they are excellent mimics, and imitate hawks to scare other birds away from food they want to eat. They also pretend to be dogs, cats, squirrels and chickens.
Stellar Jays prefer dense coniferous wooded habitats, but being scavengers and opportunists, have adjusted well to the encroachment of humans.
condensed into light–
gold tinged with tides,
rising and falling
I did a similar grid with circles a few years ago, but I’ve always wanted to give it another try. As with the last one, I first painted a landscape (wishing I had my gouache, but done with watercolor), then cut it up, rearranged it, and added collage dots from my collage box. Here’s the original landscape:
David Hockney-ish I think. Not my usual style, and perhaps a bit brighter than I intended. But I like the colors.
I’ve done a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday form challenge, which also works for Frank Tassone’s challenge of harvest moon. The paint oracle is totally responsible for turning my moon painting into a tree.
My new view of the full moon. I have to catch it when it passes between the buildings.