Just wisps of clouds are drifting along and
Could any image be more opposed to
Concentrating on the second hand as
It ticks across the numbers of a watch?
And I may choose either method to mark
The passage of time and whether I look
Up or down depends at the moment on
How much pressure I allow myself to
Feel — the numbers represent the need for
Organization as nothing worthy
Gets done without the efficient use of
Time and yet when I see the clouds I do
Remember in the midst of bustle I
Want to embody a cloud’s deportment.
To emulate a
cloud’s deportment is perhaps
a bit beyond my
present capacity but
I want less frenzied thinking.
Of the things to notice on a sunny
Day by the river I see the swallows
Flitting along the bank and above the
Water encountering no obstacles
Within a wide expanse of air and each
Is turning acrobatically in a
Hunt for bugs they must be swallowing on
The fly and they seem so tiny above
The broad river in the valley of the
Limestone bluffs and so inconsequential
To me they’re just a curiosity
That they do hunt together and they do
Return to the river in the spring and
I may open my eyes and see swallows.
As the swallows flit
along the surface of the
river the eagles
linger in lazy circles
up within the sunny sky.
It’s the irascible caw of the crow
Communicating intelligence and
A warning to trespassers it’s not a
Joke to linger in its territory
And I know it’s not alone a cohort
Of black eyes are watching from the trees and
If I were small enough the menace of
The caw would be terrifying but as
It is I just register the sound and
Think of its sharp beak and remember crows
Stabbing and cutting carcasses of the
Squirrels and rabbits they didn’t kill but
Came upon already dead to feast on
While hopping and watching with piercing eyes.
The menace of its
caw the blunt strength of its beak
the enforcement of
make the crow formidable.
Of all the things to do she has chosen
To befriend the crows of the neighborhood
By offering chicken or beef to them
And when she emerges from home there is
Recognition and communication
Welcome anticipation in the trees
For her as a small place has become a
Sanctuary from separateness
For a bird people ordinarily
Dislike has moved her to offer the crows
The nurturance every creature needs and
There is no telling how simple goodness
May manifest before it’s exercised.
to the irascible crows
turned the universe a bit.
Is all of this necessary or just
A little superfluous for the game
Of flirtation as ordinarily
Aren’t subtle gestures and hints sufficient
But there’s inspiration in the design
In the mixture of the colors with the
Popping of the incandescent green on
The breast the regal crown and the frilly
Fringy sinuousness of the feathers
Made to be displayed as one flicks open
A folding Japanese fan and who could
Look away from the flouncing ensemble?
There isn’t an Italian designer
Capable of creating the peacock.
with such superfluity
of beauty — the most
couldn’t dream up the peacock.