Boy, it was a struggle to get my butt in this chair this afternoon. Naptime is its own anxiety. What do I do with my free time? Laundry? Yes, but what else? Dinner? What about that? And those. papers. are. haunting. me. Tonight though, I’d like to hang out with my dear HP and talk to him, because it’s my favorite thing. So, I’m going to try an afternoon poem.
Today I saw a huge shadow on the ground and looked up and saw some kind of enormous hawk or eagle or something and it was carrying something in its beak. Like a snake. Or bigger than a snake, so, I don’t know. Rabbit? But not furry? Anyhow, that got me thinking about catching things, and I came upon a comforting thought. All my favorite poets have caught me with just one poem. Sometimes just one line. All of them got me good, and then I had to read all the rest. Like, with Naomi Shihab Nye it was “Making a Fist“. And with Mandelstam, it was “We shall meet again, in St. Petersburg“. With Lermontov it was “Sail”, and in nearly every translation the first and last lines are different. “A lonely sail is flashing white”, “A lone white sail shows for an instant”, “A lone sail makes a patch of whiteness”. So, how I figure it, I only have to write one poem that catches one person, and then I’m golden. Maybe not even a whole poem. Maybe just one line. So, I’m going to have patience, which is not my strong suit, and I’m going to practice.
My discipline has been lacking lately. Not for this, entirely, but for other things. Haven’t yoga’d in quite some time. The exercise room at work has not been where I do prep time anymore. My resolve has gone kaput.
So, I wrote the above during naptime this afternoon, and now it is five hours later, and I’ve suffered a burrito-induced coma since. I have a few wriggling thoughts, but that’s it. I’m going to try to make a poem out of them. Bribing myself with bathtime tonight.
So, here’s this:
What do the birds want in first spring? Not the passerines, they want insects, clear tones, and seeds. The carnivores though, the ones with beaks for crushing, what do they want in the thaw?
They want snakes.
They want to see their prey like a barbed shadow after hours pillowed rudely, from so high up, in acute angels and close focus, and they want to fall unconcerned with gravity, simply bursting headwards on the mark. They want to feel it lose the wriggling fight. They want to rise on wings that thrum to the tangled top branch, to the feast.
They want, the killer birds, above all, fresh kills and views,
and to be alone,
waiting for peace up on the dimming bough.
Made it slightly translate-y tonight, by accident. It definitely sounds like this wasn’t written in English. Meh. I kind of like it anyway. Happy Tuesday, poemies.