our bridges reflect themselves,
shimmering as we cross
between the solid and what
we cannot control–
the light tells us stories
about what we think we see,
about what lies beneath
the surface of where and who
we think we are–
more, there is always more
that stays unfocused,
that contains what can’t be
seen it its entirety,
that reconfigures itself
with wind, or clouds,
or tides rising from the unseen–
they say humans prefer the mirrored
image to the camera’s eye—
the uncapturable moment
For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.
Nina’s internet has been out since the tropical storm, with no promises of when it will be back, so she took a photo on her phone of her bird and sent it to me to post. Another colorful tribute to Draw a Bird Day!
And hopefully her internet will be back soon so she can post more of what she’s been doing.
The morning wakes without rain,
a shimmer of green
appearing from the silhouettes
of the trees scattered between
buildings. Silence floats
off the glossy reflections
of the windows
holding the rising sun.
I look for Crow flashing
black feathers as he calls
from somewhere I can’t see.
His voice bounces off
the brick and I imagine
he raises his sharp beak,
laughing as he follows
my eyes searching for the sound.
I have not asked him to speak–
he does not wait for invitations—
I do not for an instant believe
he is without purpose here
on this clear morning calling me
as usual to attention. Do you
pretend you know me?
he asks, and what can I reply?
How can you ever pretend
to know another when
you cannot even see who
this person is that you carry
with you all the time?
Who is this being that you call
is their true name?
Another piece of art inspired by Nina–her joyful birds, above. For the poem, I used a prompt posted awhile ago by Miz Quickly, in which you take lines from a poem and write them every few lines on a piece of paper and fill in the spaces between with your own words.
As Jane told me recently, it’s hard to find a poem of mine that doesn’t talk about birds. I used lines from an Adrian C. Louis poem “Magpie in Margaritaville”, which I found in the wonderful Tupelo Press book “Native Voices”. I couldn’t find a link to the poem online, but you can read about the poet, a member of the Paiute Tribe, here.
Also linking to earthweal, open link weekend.
we decoy ducks–turn
them into sitting targets
for the play of guns,
cartoon them with characters
that ignore their balanced grace
I did a lot of drawings and paintings of ducks and found them to be a challenge. Often they ended up looking more like decoys than something alive. I was interested to discover that the expression “sitting duck” came from how easy ducks are for hunters to shoot and kill–less sport than slaughter.
I also did not know that they spend 2 weeks in late summer or early fall molting, replacing all of their feathers. During that time they can’t fly.
Mallards are good parents, and prefer shallow freshwater wetlands to raise their families. They are one of the most recognizable and abundant duck species in the world, and ancestor to most strains of domesticated ducks.
For Colleen’s #tanka Tuesday, poet’s choice. I’ve written a tanka.
Inspired by Nina’s butterfly rock, above, a collaboration with the Oracle.
life must shine beneath
this summer moon
breathe bright breezes
through flowering light
walk on air
let the nightsong
follow you home
Last night the rain kept me from seeing the moon, but I did capture it the night before.
The Oracle was simple and direct today. Humans aren’t in the picture at all.
listen to winter
rain and sun
green through birdsong
deep summer air
Nina and I used to collaborate with the Oracle on a semi-regular basis. I’m hoping we will do so again soon.
stories, actions shout, defy
I bought a bird book at a library sale intending to use the photos for collage. Looking through, I was drawn to the same bird in two different sections of the book: the crested caracara. The Cornell Bird Lab says it “looks like a hawk, behaves like a vulture, and is technically a falcon”. Hence my senryu, for Colleen’s weekly challenge with poet’s choice of words. Apply to humans as needed.
Crested Caracaras live from the Southern United States down through Central and South America. They are also known as the Mexican eagle, and are the subject of folklore throughout the region. The only falcon that collects material to build a nest, caracaras are carnivorous scavengers, who will also hunt for small prey by running on or digging in the ground if necessary.
I painted my image first on wax paper using acrylic, intending to do a monoprint, which did not work–the paint was not dense or thick enough. I then painted it on rice paper, also using acrylic. This made the paper shrink in places, but worked better than I expected. I photographed both images, then superimposed the wax paper over the rice paper–strangely they fit together well, considering I did no pencil drawing for either, but just painted each.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. I’m hoping she’ll be back in soon. In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
Can you hear it? Earth’s
heartbeat chants in rhythm with
the drumming of birds.
I’ve been meaning to draw a woodpecker for awhile. I painted this without a sketch, so the proportions are a little off, but I think it captures the essence–the colors and the crest and long beak. I also put white on white lines for trees in the background. Pileated Woodpeckers prefer to live in old growth forests, nesting in dead trees, and their numbers declined as forests were cleared in the 19th century. But their numbers seem to be increasing again, as they adapt to new environments.
At my last residence I would see and hear red-headed woodpeckers. I haven’t seen any here, but on many weekends the African drummers are in residence at the historic mansion around the corner. Both man and bird connecting to earth’s rhythms.
Once again, Draw a Bird Day, the 8th of each month, is serving as a placeholder here at MeMadTwo while Nina takes an extended break. Come back soon Nina, and bring some birds!
In the meantime, you can find me (Kerfe) at https://kblog.blog/.
Every beach vacation comes with its own bird. One year it was mockingbirds, one year a very vocal cardinal. One year, crows.
This year we were accompanied by grackles. They would sit on the railing of the beach house speaking in their rusty tongue, lined up like soldiers. If one turned, all turned. Once they saw someone was paying attention they would vocalize a bit more and suddenly disappear.
On the beach they appeared ahead of my walking path and waited for me, foraging in the waves. As soon as I caught up, they flew off ahead again.
Although it’s natural to see their iridescent strutting as a variation on crows, grackles are actually part of the lark family, related also to blackbirds and orioles.
But they do have a connection to crows—all back birds are said to know magic, to live on the borders of the possible unknown.
standing on the edge
between water and shoreline,
you pause, watch me watching you–
our eyes meet through layered light
For Colleen’s #TankaTuesday, poet’s choice of words, a haibun.
Draw-a-Bird Day is placeholding here at method two madness each month until Nina returns. You can find me at https://kblog.blog/ in the meantime.
I’ve also linked to dVerse Open Link night.