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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Needs

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Needs


Leaning toward the stand of tasty hostas
the ducks are lined up, necks stretched,
black beetle eyes about to fly
from the tops of their heads,
bills blowing like vuvuzelas.

Out from under the awning of leaves
I hear a lone chicken braaaah,
in a tone of profound tolerance:
There is nothing for you here,
go away.
But they stand their ground
in a row, as they say, like ducks –-
   Indian Runners, Rouens, and Pekins --
waiting like after-game rabble at a bar,
while the black hen, Rose, turns her back
as a bar maid would, plucking leaves
with the manicured nails of her beak.
She is not clearing out
for ducks.

So, the drakes pivot from the bar,
their appetites deflected
to what is at hand, and begin their rite,
pinching the necks of the female ducks
with their brassy bills,
then climbing on for a rumba.
What else can they do?

The maple’s shadow rolls over,
having seen it all before.
From near the pond, the wind hums
the poplar leaves, as through a bamboo flute --
a low and deeply knowing accompaniment
to the fickleness of the natural order.

~ Ruth M.

NOTE: For anyone whose head was under a hosta and doesn't know what vuvuzelas are, like me until much later than most people apparently, they are those dreadful horns that have nearly driven the world crazy, especially the players, in the World Cup. 

This poem is part of the new One Stop Poetry One Shot Wednesday poem sharing project, where Brian Miller of Way Station One is hosting today, which I heard about from Lorenzo at The Alchemist's Pillow, who also helped a great deal workshopping this poem. (Sorry, Lorenzo, I am very grateful for to you, but I have to root for the Netherlands against Spain Sunday, to support my sister who lives there. Otherwise, I'd vuvuzela for Spain (can it be a verb?) - and thanks for telling me what those "World Cup horns" were called.)

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51 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i am a big fan of nature...so your poem was right up my alley...you gave me lots of little glimpses of life in this one...very nice...

thanks so much for linking up with one shot...will have to thank lorenzo as well...

Pete Marshall said...

not only was that an amazing piece that i had my wife reading over my shoulder but i also cant believe how ingenious you are to have brought in that damn vuvuzela...a great introduction to me of you work and thankyou for coming to One shot and I hope you will be returning next week..cheers Pete

Susan said...

And also a page in the poetry from Ruthie book? Brilliant writing, my dear. You just keep getting better and better. This one really made me smile and nod my head.

George said...

A wonderful poem, Ruth, accompanied by an equally wonderful photo. I look forward to reading more of your offerings.

Cait O'Connor said...

I found your blog via Willow - I believe in synchronicity - and I'm glad I did as I am a lover of poetry. I love your poem. Lots to explore here and links to follow, thank you.

Lorenzo said...

Seeing the photo really adds another dimenstion to the poem. Good stuff. The vuvuzelas and car honking are going full blast right now to celebrate Spain's victory over Germany to reach the World Cup final. I don't care much one way or another (this duck is more into the neck pinching and rumba climbs).

DrowseyMonkey said...

Lovely poem. And not sure why but I just love ducks ... love watching them.

signed...bkm said...

Beautifully descriptive of the joys in duck watching... so much in a simple pleasure and you captured it wonderfully here...Cheers...bkm

cathyswatercolors said...

hi Ruth, the poem made me feel like i was sitting on your front porch.
Oh geez those horns are dreadful!

Too hot in our area I'm wiped OUT! I'm deperately in need of a Great Lake!

peace my friend

The Bug said...

This made me smile the whole time I was reading it - imagining the politics of the farmyard. Dr. M & I are firm believers that ducks are, as a rule, pretty silly.

Vagabonde said...

Beautiful poem, Ruth. I watched the end of the game today and these vuvuzelas got on my last nerve. It must be terrible at the game.

ds said...

Ahhh, a Ruth poem. I love the contrast between the vuvuzela and the bamboo flute. I didn't know what that horrible buzzing was either until Monday. Can picture Rose, the saucy barmaid, shooing those nasty drakes away.
Wonderful. Do more. More! More!

moondustwriter said...

Ruth I am so glad you came to One Shot Wed today and gave us a view of the barnyard from a new perspective

I love the line "a low and deeply knowing accompaniment to the fickleness of the natural order."
that fickleness never happens in society - Ha

Jill of All Trades said...

Wonderful poem. I'm not a poem writer, creator but I so love to read poetry.

deb said...

Brilliant , Ruth.
We don't keep chickens or ducks, here, although there is a pair that stubbornly tries to claim our pool every spring.

Soccer soccer soccer. That's all I have to say about that.
All the kids play it at the travel level. Husband coaches, mentors.
Needless to say, those vuvuzelas have actually become white noise here.
sigh.

Bella Rum said...

Oh, so much fun was this. Those ducks are so cute and you captured their antics perfectly with your words. Loved it, Ruth.
Bella

Shari Sunday said...

Loved the images. Rosie, the barmaid with her maincured beak. The beautiful, peaceful images at the end. I never bothered with poetry much, though I have loved good quotations and a few good books for a long time. Thanks for expanding my horizons.

Oliag said...

How I truly love this poem Ruth...and I am so impressed with how well you can tell a story in a poem. I too love the image of "climbing on for a rumba"...was chuckling out loud at that one...and the "What else can they do?"

The photo is the perfect illustration...which came first...the duck or the egg? The photo or the poem?

I learned about vuvuzelas by watching The Colbert Show...can't say tv isn't educational:)

California Girl said...

You are so talented. You and Brian Miller write the poetry that moves me. I can see and hear the ducks and the chickens. I would not have known what a vuvuzela was but for the World Cup. Seems you can't turn on any news about it w/o hearing about the noisemakers.

Love the sepia masthead.

Marcie said...

Absolutely brilliant..and so beautifully written!!! Love the concept of the poetry sharing workshop.

PattiKen said...

This was fun, a wonderful glimpse into the society of the barnyard. I guess frustration leads to the same solution across the species.

Ruth said...

Brian, One Shot Poetry is fun so far, I'm glad I met you and some other folks. I'll do it again, but maybe not next week.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Pete, your community of poets seems cool, and I look forward to joining again.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Susie. I could do one of those blog books, just of the poems.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, George. My legs are still recovering from your C2C trek. But my eyes and heart are full.

Ruth said...

Hello and welcome, Cait. I enjoyed visiting Wales and your garden today. I look forward to photos too. The British Isles capture my imagination, as part of my heritage.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, your ears, and everyone's will get a rest after Sunday, I"m guessing, although if Spain wins, the honking might go on for a while around you. We have only two ducks left now, so the honking around here is almost nil. Thank you again for all your input on the poem.

Ruth said...

Drowsey, I think you, Babs, Mo and I could sit for a long time outside and laugh at the chickens and ducks. You could do running commentary, and Babs could draw graphics.

Pat said...

Wonderful poem and picture, PLUS a vocabulary lesson to boot! Your blog is just loaded with free gifts today!

Ruth said...

Thank you very much, bkm. It's great to meet you and find your beautiful blog.

Ruth said...

Hello, dear Cathy, yes this heat has drained me too. But after yesterday's rain, it feels better. Yet I think it's still plenty warm for a drive to the big lake. Me gotta go too!

Ruth said...

Ha, Dana, yes, very silly. We are down to two now, as of last week. They are not only silly, they are disruptive to the watering vessels and require more frequent coop cleanings. Anyway, Don is in the process of thinning the flock . . .

Ruth said...

Thank you, Vagabonde. I've heard vuvuzelas have been banned in some countries at their in country games, partly because of how they drown out the voice cheers of the people, unique to their own nation.

Ruth said...

Thank you, DS, I hear you like a cheering horn!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Leslie, I enjoyed participating, and I will do it again.

Oh, you think there might be reference to society in this poem?

;-)

Pauline said...

the name for that horn sounds just like the horn itself - but, if I had one I'd blow it loudly in support of this poem!

Ruth said...

Hi, Jill, well it's good for us who like to write poems that there are those who like to read them. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Deb, one more thing through the cracks? I really loved your poem.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Bella. I will ask the two remaining ducks to do a rain dance for you today, and I will join them.

Don't you wanna rain dance with me?

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Oliag. The event happened, while we were eating dinner on the porch. We watched this, exactly as I describe in the poem. Of course I jumped up to get my camera and snapped away, though I didn't get the rumba. They had privacy issues. I don't remember when or how I decided to write a poem about it, but in the very first lines, I thought of the ducks' obnoxious (but cute) quacking, and found the connection to World Cup horns. And since I am always thinking about this man-woman-society thing, and how things would go in the natural order without civilization/society as we know it, well, this was the result.

Thanks for asking. :)

Ruth said...

California Girl, well I like what you said very much. Thank you!

Ruth said...

Hi there, PattiKen. Yep. :)

I am pretty fascinated with what I see of how the natural order plays out in society. I think the basic instincts are always there right on the surface, and yet we have slapped on ideal behavior, and so we judge when people are "fickle."

Ruth said...

Oops, Marcie, responding out of order, sorry.

Yes, I love workshopping, having done it for many years in college, and then again with my poetry group. Since I've left that group, I had sorely missed the process and asked Lorenzo to help with this one. He rose to the task stalwartly, and the poem wouldn't be where it is without his help.

Ruth said...

Ha, Pat, you're so cute. We aim to please. :)

Ruth said...

Sweet, Pauline! Thank you. And I shall blow to your comment. :)

Deborah said...

You're a multi-talented creator of loveliness, Ruth.
For some reason, the quote on your sidebar caught my eye today, the one about thinking and writing clearly. It spoke to me - I could even say 'I needed that'.

Ginnie said...

I must thank you, dear sister, for rooting for Holland in spite of our loss. But what a game! I was so proud of how Holland gave Spain a run for the money. Astrid is spitting mad the referee didn't call off-sides just before the goal...but who knows. At that point it could have been won/lost by either team. Anyway, THANK YOU for rooting with us. :) And thanks for such an adorable image and poem (a bit fitting for the soccer game, I think!).

Susan said...

No, not a blog book...a REAL book! I mean it! Poetry and prose, both or together.

My veri word: drumen (drummond)!

Terresa said...

Ruth, I loved the barmaid bit, and everything in between. A delightful poem, every word.

Jeanie said...

Lovely poem, Ruth and the vuvuzuela reference is terrific and apt! After reading about your ducks and Anno's and watching our own floaters in front of the cottage all week, this poem holds a different and new meaning!

dutchbaby said...

Bills blowing like vuvuzelas. You kill me, Ruth. I bet the ones with orange bills were rooting for The Netherlands :-)