silent as the grave
the master of languages
rests his springtime voice
Little birds — sparrows, juncos, chickadees — dance at the feeder, filling their bellies. A red-tailed hawk hides in the trees at the back of the pond, waiting patiently as snow and wind whirl and howl. I wonder if he is contemplating the animal tracks in the snow and on the ice, hoping to manifest breakfast. Pema Chödrön said, “Give up all hope of fruition,” because hope robs us of the present moment. The hawk abandons hope and swoops. Breakfast has arrived.
At sunrise this morning I watched a red squirrel climbing up one of our maple trees in the front yard. We don’t often see squirrels except for the occasional glimpse of one back in the woods. The rest of the property — near the pond and in the meadows — is too open for them, and the hawks would likely find they make a tasty meal. This morning’s visitor lives across the road near the old farmhouse. I watched as she scampered up the tree, easily and quickly making her way from ground to top, following the sun from horizon to sky.
I hope she made it home safely, back to the trees across the road where the sun makes its first appearance during winter mornings here in the Bogs.
blown about by the North Wind
the tang of woodsmoke
drifts in and out
black polka dots overhead
meandering across a drab gray sky
mobs of snowflakes arrive
silently rioting and gathering
in patches and drifts
the blue jay in the woods
in a counter-demonstration
A small stone for a snowy Day 28. Boreas, in Greek mythology, was the purple-winged god of the north wind and winter. I’m far from Greece, but can’t seem to find a North American equivalent.
Fresh snow accumulated overnight, redrawing the lines of the landscape. The birds gather around the feeder, some on the ground scratching for fallen seeds buried in the snow. A red-tailed hawk perches on a high branch in a tree at the edge of the meadow, watching. Waiting. A fine white powder, barely visible, is being squeezed and sifted from the clouds overhead, falling softly, silently, in a straight line from sky to ground. The air is still. The raspy screech of another hawk somewhere off in the distance is carried across the hills and the pond.
I wonder why all the birds don’t fly south to escape the cold and snow, leaving us birdless for a season.
If you walk under a cat
Or let a black ladder cross your path
On Friday the 13th
You will receive seven mirrors
Of broken luck.
If you make a wish by chance
Or enter a frog’s house
On Friday the 13th
A chimney sweep will come true.
Three butterflies in a circle
Will bring good luck to a four-leaf clover
But only if you find them
On Friday the 13th.
Just a bit of (lame) silliness for my 13th small stone.