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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poem: Four Crows

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Four Crows:
between winter and spring


The white blanket’s thrown off.
Meadow grass is flattened and combed like hair,
sore with winter, and wise with sleep.

A phoebe imitates a man imitating a phoebe.
Goldenrod stubble pokes up like tossed hangers.
A dry ball of hydrangea tumbles to the barn.

Why didn’t Doe eat it, in such a winter as this?
O her hoof prints are gone now, though I invite
them with my longing eyes

around tree roots that look like arms and legs
lounging in new green bed covers of moss, and the litter
of Russian olive leaves like a thousand just-opened eyes.

Umber pine needles are arrows, and four crows,
suddenly rising up at my approach, point in her direction,
which is everywhere, and nowhere.





My entry for One Shot Wednesday. Follow the link and discover new work by wonderful poets.



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67 comments:

Andressa said...

sore with winter, and wise with sleep.

suddenly rising up at my approach, point in her direction,
which is everywhere, and nowhere.

wonderful!

Gwei Mui said...

I can smell the moss and the damp pine needles - wonderful

erin said...

rich in imagery and language. rich! you made me laugh with A phoebe imitates a man imitating a phoebe. who knows where anything begins?

if a poem could smell, this one smells of that transition between winter and spring. i've read it a few times already moving my gaze over what the freshly revealed earth offers.

xo
erin

Maureen said...

Your vivid images and lyrical voice make this a great pleasure to read. All the senses are at work. Lovely!

honeyhaiku said...

This is enchanting. I too long for spring, that you for sharing this imagery!

neighbor said...

Sounds like spring is arriving! Hurray! Everything is everywhere and nowhere. :-)

Chris G. said...

Just the sort of visuals I needed to stir me from an otherwise dreary morning...spring in the images, enchanting spring, stretching its roots beneath the sun. Vivid piece that makes the senses sing. Beautiful.

The Bug said...

Love love love this. You have such a talent for describing your world - and in a way where I can see what you mean. I'm not really into obscure poetry, but with you that's not a problem - I can totally see the leaves like just-opened eyes.

Brian Miller said...

you put us right there with your marvelous descriptions...great write...

Barb said...

Again, I'm drawn into the scene - by both your words and the photos. I especially like the "everywhere and nowhere" phrase.

Brendan said...

Where I live (in Florida) spring is a horn-blast of everything green headed to hot in no time flat -- I love the descriptions of place which make me experience spring in new ways -- I read Terresa's poem about the desert and now this. Late-winter early-spring is such a raw time in this poem, with each detail like coming into view as if someone has just arisen from a nap. Looking with "a thousand just-opened eyes." Thank you. - Brendan

Evelyn said...

positively love the last stanza.
great response to the pictures.

Robby said...

Unbelievably beautiful.

jen revved said...

a beautiful cadence to this celebration, Ruth. xxxj

Miss Jane said...

I particularly liked the questioning and longing of the poet which colors the landscape--longing leads to sprawled limbs in a moss bed and questioning brings the answer from the crows who point in flight. Everywhere and nowhere, indeed.

Peter said...

Maybe too much snow for the Doe to reach it this winter ... and now she's gone without leaving any traces? Here the snow didn't last ... but the spring is really welcome anyhow!

Arti said...

Since Spring's started, we've been covered with some more white blankets... guess Winter still wants to linger on. But looking at your photos... the tender new growth, is enough to last me till Spring actually arrives. Thanks for the words and the visuals, as always.

Louise Gallagher said...

I love the rythym and timbre of this poem. It washes over me like a spring breeze, washing away winter's debris.

And if only that breeze would come here and wash away the snow!

thanks for this poem Ruth and the images -- wow!

deb colarossi said...

marvelous.

words, photos,
your weaving of everything just so .

Terresa said...

"the litter
of Russian olive leaves like a thousand just-opened eyes."

-- Beautiful words here, Ruth! One Shot Wednesday is all the richer with you participating!

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I like this a lot, and the faithfulness to the personification throughout. Well done!

Ruth said...

Andressa, I appreciate your kind comment.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Gwei Mui. Keep those digital images coming. :)

Ruth said...

erin, it was so funny when I heard that phoebe, and I could swear a man was in the woods whistling.

I'm glad you can smell the poem. Thank you for your sensual attention.

Ruth said...

Maureen, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

Ruth said...

Thanks and welcome, honehaiku. Spring will come.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Neighbor. Apparently spring might be nowhere today as we're expecting snow. :)

Ruth said...

Chris G., thank you very much for your kind words. I hope you have a bright day.

Ruth said...

Dana, I'm not into obscure poetry either, and I thank you for saying this is accessible. I'm glad you can see the images.

Ruth said...

Brian, thank you, and thanks for all you do to support writers.

Ruth said...

Barb, thank you for that. Enjoy your beautiful Colorado.

Ruth said...

Brendan, yes, "raw" is just what it is here now. It's not terribly attractive before color starts to spring up. But looking closely, I was arrested by the color of the tree roots, and especially the green mosses. I also enjoy hearing about other landscapes (but there are none :), though I confess I would be daunted by the heat of FL and NV.

Ruth said...

Evelyn, thanks, I appreciate your kind words.

Ruth said...

Wow, Robby, thank you.

Ruth said...

jen revved, love that word "cadence." Thank you.

Ruth said...

Miss Jane, questioning and longing, c'est moi. :) Thank you for that attention and thoughtful response.

Ruth said...

Peter, the deer came right up to the house where the bird seed is scattered. It was a harsh winter for them.

I love to see your flowers through your lens. Your blog seems safe now, thank god. What a chilling experience to lose it in toto.

Ruth said...

Arti, we are expecting snow today too, possibly. We always know a few signs of spring early will be followed by a few more snow storms, don't we?

Ruth said...

Louise, thank you for "rhythm and timbre" such lyrical words themselves. Now that our snow is gone, there is a lot of debris. We need a couple of warm Saturdays to clean it up! Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment.

Ruth said...

deb, thank you my friend.

Ruth said...

Terresa, thank you for that, and for all you do for poetry and inspiring the rest of us.

Ruth said...

Robert, thanks a bunch, and I bet you'd help me see even more on a walk.

João said...

"Grass is flattened and combed like hair,
sore with winter, and wise with sleep. "

Very nice...echoes inside us, funny how rid of snow your country looks like Travancinha...do you also have granite rock ?

Susan said...

I love the grass metaphor...I always think of the snow mold as matted hair, so we weren't far apart in our thinking.

Lovely, Lady.

Ruth said...

Obrigada, João. Yes, there is granite in Michigan, though not here on the farm. This land is pretty sandy.

Ruth said...

Susie, never far apart in our thinking, my friend. Thank you.

Vagabonde said...

Words are your friends – you play with them, arrange them and they come out making beautiful music for you and us.

Claudia said...

..Russian olive leaves like a thousand just-opened eyes...wow - love this ruth

Jeanie said...

As always, your poems are beautiful and moving. I can "see" Doe. Beautifully illustrated, too -- our flat grass will perk up soon. It must.

Paul C said...

Thoroughly enjoyable images and complementary poems.

Shashi said...

Dear Ruth

I enjoyed it all so well, you have a way with words and you paint a beautiful picture...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/03/whispers-seed-and-senseless-living.html
At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

Deborah said...

You're responsible for a few moments of quiet enjoyment over here, Ruth.

ds said...

The images tumble over and over just like the dried ball of hydrangea. The Doe! Grass as matted hair,"sore with winter and wise with sleep."

Follow the crows, Ruth...

Loring Wirbel said...

An unusual rhythm to these tercets, striking and lovely!

Ruth said...

Merci, Vagabonde, for such kind words.

Ruth said...

Oh thanks so much, Claudia. I love our Russian olive trees, though they are taking over.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Jeanie. This is the grass in the meadow (I added "meadow" to be more clear). It is very long, 2-3 feet, and it really does look like long blonde hair.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Paul, for your kind visit.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Shashi. I enjoyed your haiku and poem very much, a fine contribution to One Stop Wednesday.

Ruth said...

That's good, Deborah. I'm happy to see you. Your letter from Japan is so heartening.

Ruth said...

ds, thank you, my friend. And I am.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Loring!

who said...

you must write the majority of the lyrics Ruth, you write that well. The images look like they could be of Tugman Park here in Oregon.

That piece of wood looks like it lays across a mountain bike trail, with many scrapes from the front sprocket.

Char said...

love the transitions. love the photographs

Margaret said...

You don't just take a walk... you feel poetry as you go along. I loved ... "around tree roots that look like arms and legs, lounging in new green bed covers of moss"

So creative - in a way I long to be. This week was SO busy for me. I was unable to do much writing, missed my poetry challenges. But I just couldn't take the time away from the family (...I WANTED to, though!) So nice to visit here. :)

Ginnie said...

The poems are simply flowing out of you these days, Sister. Your life is becoming one big poem!

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Another beautiful moment in the meadow from your pen. The "sore with winter, wise with sleep" drew me right in, such a knowing way of describing this inter-season interlude, just before the awakening of spring. I like the way your longing eyes lead to the thousand newly opened eyes of the olive leaves and then the ending is just perfect — I can hear the rustle of the crows' wings as they take flight, and then the silence that regains command of the air, as the poet and reader are left alone together, searching for something that is everywhere, and nowhere.