Wednesday, December 19, 2007

miro cummings and neruda - beautiful birds

one of the greatest losses i experience in winter is the absence of birdsong. the birds have mostly made wise choices by now and followed the warmth south. and i don't blame them. frankly i'd like to follow them for a bit. but with them goes the many little joys i experience in their presence. i love to watch swallows fly. i love the great v's of geese. i love trees filled with hundreds and thousands of sparrows. i love watching the social skills of birds go out the window around a feeder.

today's writing and viewing celebrates birds and then all that lies beneath, inside and around the idea of birds.


It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

-- Pablo Neruda

miro - the beautiful bird

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance. e. e. cummings

the nightingale's song at midnight and the morning rain

may my heart always be open

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile ee cummings

woman and birds

woman encircled by the flight of birds

my favourite bird.

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