The bluebird told me, and I told the wren.
The bluebird got it from someone on the ground,
a vole, perhaps, or field mouse,
who’d caught the gist from the catfish
who lives in a corner of the pond.
She’d heard it from the turtle
who was scratching a hole in the bank
where she could lay her clutch
of pearly eggs, and she said she had learned it
from the black snake looping its way
along a branch of locust, careful of the thorns.
Who knows where that old slitherer
came upon the information? Perhaps
she heard it on the wind
as it whispered through the valley.
I regret I cannot tell you what it was–
it has gone on now, beyond me
and beyond this poem’s edges.
Ask wren, perhaps, but he has already
told the thing to bat, who’s given it
to a thoughtfully grazing groundhog
who keeps her springtime quarters
across the field there by the little oak,
right where a sprinkle of sunshine
sparkles in the dew most mornings.
1. Earth: The view from the top of the ridge of Mt. Pisgah, looking down to the Susquehanna River always lifts my spirits. How did I get so lucky, to get such a view almost every day?
2. Air: Poetry and Stories spoken aloud. Last night’s Spoken Word Play (the 14th) was profound and powerful.
3. Fire: Making fire with the boys yesterday. Ellis finally drew flames from a pile of sycamore fluff, using the sun’s rays through a magnifying glass. Joss wanted a fire, too, so we built two small fires on bricks on the driveway, and the boys spent hours feeding them with sticks (it cleaned up the yard, that’s certain). Joss toasted a piece of bread, and they each roasted potatoes in the hot coals for our supper. I recently read, “They won’t remember their best afternoon of television.” That’s the truth. But I think they’ll remember the day they made fire.
4. Water: The River. Did I say the River? I cross her twice every day. She runs through our lives like a thread that weaves us together with the lives of those who live all along her shores, and with those who have ever lived here in this place where she runs.
5. Spirit: That which enlivens and animates us. Love that connects and weaves us together, like the River.
May we walk in Beauty!