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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Magpie poem: Birds

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I'm trying my first Magpie, Tess Kincaid's (of the grand Life at Willow Manor) writing prompt from her blog Magpie Tales. It's so nice to be part of a community of writers around here, isn't it? I just love you all. This is Magpie 65, and if you click on that, you will be able to link to lots of other writers' responses to this image of a lovely St. Francis statue offered by Tess.

Birds

Were they the center
of your being?

Their
bones impossibly light
like straw

blown from the barn floor
out the door

spiraling
a shadow on the air

with no darkness
at all

like this stir stick
and cream
swirling

infinite questions
that dissolve
in the well
of my morning coffee





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61 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

Beautiful, the birds and St Francis as one, and the birds so light they almost defy gravity, almost ...

Ruth said...

Thanks, Robert, which I hope greet you . . .

like rain
from unhurried clouds.

missing moments said...

Ruth, I continue to enjoy your words. Always so lovely. Also, thanks for the intro to Magpie Tales. Still kind of new and finding my way around the blog world! So many wonderful paths to follow!
reena

Ruth said...

Reena, thanks. I have enjoyed Magpie Tales for a good long while, which has been great just to read and enjoy how writers respond to a photograph. Now I've dipped my toe into the water, and maybe you'll do the same sometime. What's nice is you can do it or not do it as often or as little as you like.

annell said...

Beautifully done! I love it!

Oliag said...

I am loving that image of infinite questions swirling in my morning coffee:)

I thought you would be outstanding at Magpie Tales:)

Friko said...

good, another convert to Willow's Magpie which I will make sure to read.

My birdman himself is real, as are his encampment and life with the birds; I am just not sure about his name.
There is such a thing as creative licence, which I frequently make use of.

Brendan said...

Sweet parallel between the saint's ovation of small nature and the poet's meditation on that nature of that, stirring her coffee, getting to work.- Brendan

Ann Grenier said...

Your words, which evoke images like shadows with no darkness, offer the gold of ambiguity we seek in poetry.

hedgewitch said...

Interesting the questions dissolve, interesting there is no darkness in the shadows, interesting that the whole poem is itself either/both a question and/or answer. A fine take on the prompt, and a poem that will float in my own coffee this morning.

jabblog said...

Delightful imagery and I like the idea of swirling questions dissolving.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Nice to see you join in with Tess and her flock of magpie scavengers and writers, and to such lovely effect in this poem. The poem itself has such a light airy quality, as the images it evokes, of straw, birds, questions and cream spiraling up. I see recent Rilke conversations of center-ness and gravity are much on your mind, in your morning coffee and in your verse.

The Bug said...

I'm always so interested in what other people come up with in response to the prompt. In comparison to your offering - almost weightless & impossibly deep - mine seems like heavy antique furniture. It's ok, but your poem is more my style :)

Doctor FTSE said...

I do so like things "dissolving in the well of your morning coffee"

Tess Kincaid said...

Light bird bones and coffee stirs and thoughts of saints. Loved this. And welcome to Magpie Tales, dear friend!

Barb said...

Ruth, Your ability to go from the general to the particular is so wonderful. The pairing of your universal questions with the morning coffee superb!

LC said...

I think Brendan nailed it but I think nature is yet supreme. Your beautiful imagery of the birds through the barn door made your coffee seem as lead even tho it couldn't have been scripted better

steven said...

ruth! the fragile and light centre of your insight hovers inside the ascending spiral of sainthood, bird bodies, and your morning emergence. steven

Terresa said...

"Their
bones impossibly light"

loved this, Ruth, as your words read/sing/trip down the page, just as impossibly light, ending up dissolving in morning coffee. Delicious!

Glad you joined the Magpie Group, although I haven't participated in Tess' prompt for awhile, it's a highly enjoyable one, and a very active/friendly group!!

erin said...

one thing transfiguring into another. it is the way, isn't it?

my son and i crept up on a pileated woodpecker this morning, he with a vintage camera and film. i watched both birds, and through the lense of them i saw myself.

i always enjoy where you take me, ruth.

xo
erin

Maureen said...

Great response to the prompt, Ruth. I especially like "bones impossibly light/ like straw", and how you evoke the reverie in which we all sometimes get lost while enjoying our morning coffee.

Jingle said...

very lovely.

:)

Stratoz said...

Were they the center
of your being? ---- quite the question to ponder while listening to Joni.

Susan said...

Lovely picture, lovely words.

Oh said...

first thing first: your blog looks awesome. Love the design, the look. Serious blog fashion.
And then there's your poetry.
How's the book coming? Happy spring. Happy writing.

Marcie said...

They are like some sort of spirits..housed in the bodies of the birds. Gorgeous writing!

Trellissimo said...

Lovely image of someone thinking as they stir their coffee. Well done

Ginnie said...

So sweet, Ruth. So fragile and yet enduring.

George said...

Hi Ruth. I just attempted to post some comments, but they were snapped up by some sort of malfunction before they could be published. I will try again.

Loved your first entry in the Magpie series. This was my initial, visceral reaction: The quiet spaces in your poetry resonate with me as deeply as the words themselves. Does that make sense? Who knows? Somehow, what is not said enhances the mystery and attraction of what is said, perhaps because the quiet spaces invite the reader to enter and be a part of the creative process.

What is the center of our being? I love your question, which I think was addressed to St. Francis, but which could have been simply addressed to yourself. I am also moved by your reference to "bones impossibly light," which reminds me of Milan Kundera's title, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," which, in turn, brings me back to St. Francis. I have long been an admirer of St. Francis and have spent quite a bit of time through the years in Assisi, where his presence is felt in every nook and cranny (rented a house there for two weeks a couple of years ago). I think it is this lightness of being that attracts me to St. Francis, this hope that I, too, may be able to shed the things that weigh upon my life in this madcap world of the 21st century.

Oh, how I would love to have coffee with a poet who has infinite question in the well of her own cup!

Ginnie said...

So sweet, Ruth...the tiny birds that seem so fragile but sing louder than us all.

Bella Rum said...

Lovely.

infinite questions dissolving in morning coffee...

Jeanie said...

Oh, Ruth, that's lovely. I also like prompts -- even if I never share, they give focus, stretch the creativity. But this one was a winner!

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Lovely Ruth!

Anna :o]

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Annell!

Ruth said...

Ah thank you, Oliag. :-) I sure do appreciate your confidence.

Ruth said...

Friko, I have enjoyed every one of yours I've read, and you are one of the reasons I was converted.

I thought maybe "Frank" was a poetic form of St. Francis. I love it!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Brendan. And I like our sweet parallels of the work in these early dark hours.

Ruth said...

Ah thank you for that, Ann.

Ruth said...

Hedgewitch, it's quite lovely to have you here, and I'm glad you find these points of interest in my poem. I'm honored that it stayed with you that way.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jabblog.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, you are right about the Rilke readings and conversations that led to this. In fact, I don't know how to separate the effect of his thoughts and words from my own pondering these days.

Ruth said...

Dana, I have always been interested in different takes on the image prompts too. Thank you for such kind words, but I can't agree that yours is heavy. What an interesting image you evoked, looking out the dark window, while seeing yourself reflected in it, the constant outward and inward gaze that we have to balance.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Doctor FTSE, and welcome.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Tess, and for all you do.

Ruth said...

Barb, thanks for that. Sometimes I wonder if I don't make everything particular a bit overly much! :-)

Ruth said...

LC, yes, that deep, deep well of coffee and the sky, the universe . . . within and without. Thanks for your kind words.

Ruth said...

Steven, I turn to birds every day for their lightness, entranced by their structure, ability, and song.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Terresa, for tripping through my morning thoughts with me. I'm excited to finally join the sky with the magpie-ers.

Ruth said...

Erin, everything is one. And your particular is always within the lens. I love how you see, and reveal to us.

Ruth said...

Maureen, thank you. I find such comfort in the dark of the early morning quiet.

Ruth said...

Thank you for that, Jingle.

Ruth said...

Stratoz, ah yes, the two posts, together. I can't stop hearing Joni's song in my head and heart, along with birdsong.

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Susie.

Ruth said...

Boots, birds are constantly teaching me. Do you know I have a little ceramic bluebird on my dressing table too, and in her silence she speaks to me about my voice.

Ruth said...

Thanks and hello, Bella, so good to share coffee with you.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, I love seeing where people go with these prompts, and how a spark turns into a small flame inside me too.

Ruth said...

Hi and thanks, Anna! Clever pseudonym!

Ruth said...

Comments that fell into the Blogger well yesterday:


Oh:

first thing first: your blog looks awesome. Love the design, the look. Serious blog fashion.
And then there's your poetry.
How's the book coming? Happy spring. Happy writing.

Marcie:

They are like some sort of spirits..housed in the bodies of the birds. Gorgeous writing!

Trellissimo:

Lovely image of someone thinking as they stir their coffee. Well done

George said...

Once again into the breach — my fourth attempt to comment on your Magpie poem, Ruth. If it fails this this time, I may take leave of my Zen grounding and smash a hammer through the computer screen.

More to the point, I loved your first entry in the Magpie series. While I was charmed and moved by the words and images of the poem, my strongest reaction was to the quiet spaces from which your ideas emerged. Indeed, the quiet spaces in your poetry resonate with me as deeply as the words themselves. Does that make sense? Who knows? Somehow, what is not said often enhances the mystery and attraction of what is said, perhaps because the quiet spaces invite the reader to enter and be a part of the creative process.

What is the center of our being? As you can appreciate, I love your question, which I think was addressed to St. Francis, but which could have been simply addressed to yourself. I am also moved by your reference to "bones impossibly light," which reminds me of Milan Kundera's title, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," which, in turn, brings me back to St. Francis. I have long been an admirer of St. Francis and have spent quite a bit of time through the years in Assisi (rented a house there for two weeks just a couple of years ago). I think it is this lightness of being that attracts me to St. Francis, this perennial hope that I, too, may be able to shed the things that weigh upon my life in this madcap world of the 21st century.

Oh, how I would love to have coffee with a poet who has infinite questions in the well of her own cup!

Ruth said...

George, thank you for going to the trouble of posting your comments again and again, and coming back once more to make them stick.

I heard and felt a beautiful, quiet connection from and with you in your comments to my poem "Birds." Somehow your response met me just where I want to be met, in the air in and around this poem. Your feelings about St. Francis, your time spent in heartfelt ways in Assisi (wow), all the things you mentioned, and especially what you said about the quiet spaces in my poetry resonating with you as deeply as the words, all swirl around in my being and fill me up with joy and light. Then that last line, which echoes my own wishes to sit and talk with you, was just so beautiful, and received with immense pleasure.

I wish you lightness today and always.

Steve Isaak said...

Excellent, perfect.