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Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am walking out of winter


I am walking out of winter

one booted foot
up and down
after another
like iron pistons
in deep snow

starting at the pines'
hollow deer beds

into the deep
white bowl of the meadow

aching up the hill
past the barn
and its stones as heavy
as my snow-drifted feet

past the iced herbs
and silvered
scraps of wind and sleep

past the column of moon
(ah,
loose white feather
floating in the blue sky)

Trudging out of winter
toward the house
toward my birds

slipping off my knee boots
I climb up with them

my birds
my birds

descend
and ascend
the leafless black ladders
of trees
to and from the feeders

my birds
my birds

- Ruth M., January 2009

I created the bird image using my photo of starlings, then at picnik.com processed it with the the panography effect and framed it with the mirrored frame.

84 comments:

Prasad said...

awesome lines...loved it! :)

Sandy said...

That is a great effect you have on that photograph! Loved your poem also.

Your photos make me almost like snow.

Loring Wirbel said...

The rhythmic chanting of this poem is wonderful, reminds me of Patti Smith's "Birdland," but more minimal and direct. I'd love to see you read this in an open-mike performance.

But remember, O Midwesterner, it's not even Groundhog Day yet! You have a lot of climbing to do.

Helena said...

Beautiful poem! But why walk out of winter? :-) It's so beautiful, covering all the ugliness of the earth that humans have created.

Susan said...

Ruthie, I can picture you trudging through the deep, deep snow trying not to get stuck so you can get to your birds and be one with them. Beautiful.

mystic rose said...

Oh yay!! You posted the poem, and with the photo up there its just awesome. There's a lighter feeling with the colors.

Susan said...

I meant to tell you thanks for having the link to the White House. I was meaning to go there anyway. WOW! It's like taking an American Government class. I'm gonna brush up on my facts.

Jill of All Trades said...

Very nice. I loved both the picture and the poem.

Kass said...

Just beautiful-poetess

Anet said...

Wonderful Ruth! The poem is lovely... the photo, prefect!
I was watching a pair of starlings out the doctor's waiting room window today. I come here and there are more starlings. I like when things like this happen.:)

shicat said...

I am walking with you. Beautiful poem,it begs to be read aloud. The photo ,my goodness, thats an awsome effect. Is the photo internet only or do you have a photo in your home. Really lovely.
smile,smile and triple smile.

ds said...

Love the poem, love the photo collage! Would you believe that after several birdless weeks, I came home this afternoon to a tree full of fat robins, positioned almost exactly like the starlings of your picture--uncanny coincidence.

carl h. sr. said...

Nice Ruth.
And bold,baring part of your soul like that,for all to see.
My big brother,who has been a musician for forty years or so,said the hardest part of being onstage is opening up your soul and feelings for all those strangers.

J and Z said...

what a beautiful poem and photo! i can almost hear you from here!! wonder - full!!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh to be as free as a bird... to land on a tree top just because you can... to drift on a breeze, just for fun... to fly thousands of miles with your own delicate wings under your own power... just to spend the winter...

pretty special.. birds..

and your poem, beautiful!!

Muffin said...

that was absolutly beautiful.
Such vivid description. I felt as though I were there walking along with you :)

Dakota Bear said...

Ruth,

What a beautiful poem, thank you. I love the snow and birds.

So far this winter I had not seen any birds at the birdfeeder. But today there was a hawk in the trees for me to see out the window while I was excercising. Than this aftrnoon there was a titmouse at the birdfeeder. Needless they added a smile to my face.

Don said...

Early Bird

Oh, if you're a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you're a bird, be an early early bird-
But if you're a worm, sleep late.

by Shel Silverstein

I was looking for a poem to read for my class and stumbled across this one.

I think the worms are sleeping deep beneath the frozen ground and will be safe until you trudge them out of winter.

freefalling said...

'Spose you think you're pretty clever?
Rightly so.
You ARE pretty clever.

Oliag said...

Beautiful poem...between the poetry and the photography you are very talented!
That panography feature is so much fun!..I am definitly going to have to find a pic to try it out on!

Ruth said...

Prasad, wish I could take you for a walk in the knee-deep snow. You would love it.

Ruth said...

Auntie Sandy, maybe you should drive up to Big Bear and try it out?

Ruth said...

Loring, yay Patti Smith. I looked up the lyrics, thank you!

I don't know if this will make sense, but when I began writing the poem it was not that I wanted to escape winter, even though it sounds that way. I think I wanted a different vantage point is all.

Ruth said...

Helena, not walking out (even though that's what it says) - more like climbing up and looking at it differently. Birds look so light and easy in all their hard survival work.

Ruth said...

Susan, I love it when you call me Ruthie! Only my family calls me that. :)

Ruth said...

Mystic, yes! Thank you so much for your help with these lines.

Ruth said...

I know, Susan! I heard that his staff had a terrible time Wednesday getting lost in the White House, going through wrong doors, having no computers hooked up, etc. I never thought about the transition, and how there's no one there to tell you where the reams of paper are or where the bathroom is!

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Glinda, um I mean, Jill.

Ruth said...

Kass, ah, thank you.

Ruth said...

Oh Anet, I love it too.

Hope it was a routine Dr. visit, nothing serious.

Ruth said...

Dear Cathy, I'm smiling too. No, I don't have a print of this image in the house, just on the computer. I have never printed any of my photos, I don't have a good printer at home. I think about it though.

Ruth said...

Hi, DS. I am touched by the coincidence, and Anet's and also Dakota Bear. We are all connected - with each other, and with nature. We just have to see it.

Your blog is wonderful.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Carl. For me, opening up is not hard. It's probably more of an effort to hold back.

Ruth said...

J and Z, thank you for being such a lovely audience.

Ruth said...

Gwen, that's it. To fly, to float, to ride air currents, to see the world from above. To be light, not weighed down.

Ruth said...

Muffin, that's the best compliment, thank you. We are all connected.

Ruth said...

Dakota Bear, maybe it's the slightly warmer weather that's bringing out our friends. Watching them is such a treat. The energy that seems effortless.

Ruth said...

Don, that made me smile. I hope you will have your 3rd graders memorize this one so they can recite it when they say the pledge on the PA.

Oh dear, but if I trudge out the worms, the birds will get 'em.

Ruth said...

Letitia, and what m'dear is the aussie word for pretty clever? This was too easily understood. You should be teaching me more new vocabulary.

Truth is, the birds are so clever, I feel like a dolt.

Ruth said...

Oliag, thank you so much.

Once you start playing at picnik, you won't want to stop. I think there is a small fee to upgrade for the panography effect, and for the mirrored frame also, now I think about it. I thought it was reasonable, so I upgraded. Have fun, and tell me!

Diane said...

VERY Nice blog ~ You are a great writing! Looking forward to more! :)

laura said...

Beautiful image, Ruth, And I love the poem--the very idea of walking out of winter and the images, "iced herbs"--it's very fine.

Bob Johnson said...

Beautiful Ruth, and thanks for sticking "past the column of moon" in there,lol, awesome image.

Susan said...

Aren't we family? ;)

Peter said...

I'm again - once more - full of admiration for what you do! Not only you are gifted, but you must spend considerable time to produce such high quality posts! Bravo!!

Taking some good rest during the weekend?

Thanks for the link to the Obama White House website. Very interesting to read in its "details"! I added the direct link to my "favourites" and will follow up: :-)

Lauren Samuels said...

Really makes you picture a Russian winter scene. I love it.

Lauri xox

Ruth said...

I'm happy you like my blog, Diane. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Laura, them's nice words from an editor. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Bob, you know I thought of you, ha!

Ruth said...

Mais bien sûr, ma sœur, Susan!

:D

Ruth said...

Peter, I love the writing process, and the tweaking. It's good practice. And the photos too, I love working on them.

But look who's talking! My goodness. From the walking the city, to the photo processing, to the collages, to the historical research, creating informative maps, everything you do, my hat's off to you, dear Sir.

Please do keep following up on our President. We all need to keep him accountable, even Swedes in Paris (if you care to).

Ruth said...

Lauri, I like that. Oohhhh, Dr. Zhivago, the frozen house. So beautiful.

Blogstiny said...

This is a great poem. It reminds me of times with my family as a kid. We have a lot of snow & birds here in Colorado. Thanks for the memories.

VioletSky said...

You are having so much fun with picnik, aren't you? Great photo.

Have the birds found their buffet bench yet?

Deedee said...

Loved your poem and the photo is sublime! Thank you for the moment!

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jadecarmella said...

Absolutely amazing poetry. I love the repetion of the birds. The artwork was beautiful as well!

rauf said...

wondering if deers suffer any frost bite.

Brighter, warmer days are waiting Ruth.

Ruth said...

Blogstiny, well that's cool!

Your story this morning gave me a good giggle. I'm still trying to picture what that package looked like.

Ruth said...

Sanna, I go in spurts with picnik. I spend hours there, and then I won't go for weeks. But yep, it is tres fun.

Oh dear, you would ask about the birds' buffet bench. I have been a bad photographer/bird feeder. It's been so cold I haven't trudged back there in a few days to check. I can see this isn't going to help my prospects.

Ruth said...

Ah Deedee, thank you for that. I love me birds.

Ruth said...

Have fun with the graphics, Tutorial Design Graphic person.

Ruth said...

Jadecarmella, oh thank you! Birds are a thing of beauty, visually and behaviorally.

Ruth said...

rauf, I have wondered about the poor deer too. Their hair is so short. The chickens are fine, so much down and fluffy feathers. But their combs do turn black in the cold.

I look forward to spring, yes. In this poem I know it sounds as though I am ready for winter to be done. But no, I'm not. I don't mean walking out of winter as in leaving it behind. It's more like gaining a bird's perspective on it. They work so hard to survive, yet they make it look effortless. Ah, they are so light.

But you wouldn't necessarily know that from this poem. I hope readers take from it whatever they wish.

R2K said...

: )

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MacGaff said...

Gorgeous! Loved it!





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humanobserver said...

A beautiful snap so as the poem...

Kerri said...

Lovely Ruth! You are very talented!

Ruth said...

R2K, I liked your post about the rapper.

Ruth said...

It ME, good luck with your work exposing water diseases.

Ruth said...

MacGaff, sweet! Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, humanobserver. Thank you for taking time to read it, and then comment.

Ruth said...

Kerri, my dear, that's very nice. Thank you.

I love nature, as do you. Looking closely at our birds makes me speechless. I tried to put it into words, that's probably not a great idea. Should just let them speak for themselves.

Poutalicious said...

I love your line: "When the spent yucca blossoms fall from the chandelier atop the stalk and get impailed on the spiky leaves, would you call it self mutilation? Ouch!" and the photos go right along with it.

I grew up in Michigan and I live in Arizona. I have a huge yucca in my backyard. Maybe there's a difference in size.

I love the Chick picture painted by Sandy.

Very creative blog.

Ruth said...

Ah, thank you, Pouty, fellow Michigander. I appreciate your positive energy over at Pouty Baby's Nonsense. And thank you for bringing it here.

Delphine said...

Surrounded by Alex's poems it gave me great pleasure to read yours. Your writing has a great sense of peace and stisfaction whilst Alex's all seem to be on the darker side, but beautiful to me.

Ruth said...

Delphine, you know it's wonderful what you are doing with Alex's poems. An act of devout love.

shoreacres said...

Hello, Ruth,

I was sent over here by ds, whom I discovered somehow, and who now has come to visit me as well.

I'm just dropping a note here because there is so much to see, and I should stop and say "hello" before going further, lest I not stop at all. The photography is beautiful, the blogroll is congenial, and the writing is stimulating. I'll be back, over and over.

I write mostly essays at my WordPress blog, but have a winter poem up just now which you might enjoy. I wish I didn't have responsibilities to take me away now, but I'm delighted I took the advice I was offered. Ds was right to send me here, and I'll be back soon!

Ruth said...

Hi, Linda, what a nice visit from you. And your blog is wonderful, so much care and time there, it is obvious. I appreciate that.

Shaista said...

I am going to add the eighty-first comment to your post :)
I know a lot of people here in England who would love to hear this winter poem. And climb as I did up to your birds, our birds.
Beautiful.

Shaista

Princess Haiku said...

I like the minimalism and sense of clarity in your poem. You have a great blog and congrats on your award thing.

Ruth said...

Shaista, your poetry is sweet and beautiful. Thank you for climbing up with me. Your words move me.

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