hums the tall lobelia,
and as the pollinators land
on the blue lips of open blooms,
the lips tremble as if
the flower is unsure
of this weight of pollination.
rush of nectar is upon us. Hummingbirds hurry to put on weight
for their flight to Yucatan, bees of one shape and all sizes
tumble late bloomers while paper wasps bump windows.
hunts drinkers of nectar
on flower hubs of chocolate,
climbs wheels of gold.
hunts bees and wasps
among the black-eyed susans.
When the frog strikes well,
stinger and venom,
pollen and buzz.
This quick-tongued marvel
turns venom into such food
as will keep him through cold.
not fear for small green frogs who ingest poison; they have
been eating wasps and bees since the invention of buzz. Milagro
arcs from the hose
through hot sun.
Dust as it splats on soil.
A dragonfly rattles in,
hovers just over the arc
near my hand,
dips its jaws into silver,
zooms off into light.
dipping a drink from the hose was such an unexpected moment
of delight. It’s a fine thing to give a gift you didn’t
know you were giving.
forward as it slowly
lifts and lowers each
dark back-hinged leg.
The white neck leans
tense with desire
to slash down
its beak of gold.
tension and incredible focus of predators is beautiful. It
stirs the soup of species memory.
a treefrog burbles and chortles
from a high wet leaf.
and little black crickets
a soaked young jay
coos deep in his throat.
graced by long-awaited rain. Every being with a voice started
talking at once. The leaves did too.
get the paper,
I think the car from the east
has slowed so I can pass,
but the driver is intent ahead.
I look west.
the killed raccoon.
Morning’s eagle stands solid
and tall as a longstone, as if
a root reaches from his talons
to the core of Earth.
in early sun, beak
gold and huge with bloody hook.
When he surges up and gathers air,
how broad and white his fan,
how finely scribed each feather.
being! I am entirely privileged to have been so close. Minutes
later, he returned and tugged the raccoon off the blacktop.
all the loud
The hope is for germination, which often works best if a jay
or squirrel buries the acorn and forgets to come back for
it in winter.
of a sudden everywhere
blooming through air
Paused on red clovers,
half open wings toss
orange and black,
copper and white
back to sun,
bark of birch.
Before the painted ladies’ eyes
On the tips of
two orbs of white
dance to the music
painted ladies in the North fly here from the South. It takes
much of the summer. Painted ladies die off in the north every
winter, and try to colonize every summer. This is why they
are most everywhere on earth. Europe’s painted ladies
fly up from North Africa. Talk about being ready for global
field, myriad small grasshoppers
leap away from my legs like a living fan.
Cold will end them
but everywhere they sing.
wind tears off leaves,
gives grasses voice
as they bend, as
stream silk-seeds into sky
autumn is all of a piece: wind roar, seeds dispersed, songs
arrow through night,
land each day to feed in threes and fives.
Three sit on a pond log, resting at dawn, ease
out into duckweed, beaks ajar
for this duck treat, return to the log
to preen and wiggle tails.
heron swoops down
to land on its favorite log,
dips a wing at the ducks,
almost cups them in its scoop.
Two fill sky with plaintive cries;
one paddles so fast
he cuts a rent in green.
The heron stretches his neck,
gazes his domain.
ducks are exhausted, but happily, there are many ponds here.
Large predators lord it over all. We excuse them for their
lured the monarch
to taste its sweets and carry pollen
in the throated rush of summer.
equinox she thrusts seeds
at the sun, spears erect
as quivered arrows fletched with silk
on her sunlit candelabra.
life is a circle of offerings and receivings. Reciprocity
is the key. I love to see the milkweeds and the monarchs so
begins to turn,
mirrors velvet berries,
releases the fire already in leaves
startle blue, splash
a million stars around the ponds,
each centered with a sun.
constellations, whole Milky Ways.
Goldenrod saved light all summer
to sprawl sun through fields.
ancient principle of magic is ‘as above, so below.’
These solar and stellar correspondences are connections we
intuitively know. We always have.
decides I’ve come too close,
he opens and flies so low
the tips of his blue wings skim lily pads.
When he lands at the inlet
he doesn’t bank, does not splash,
just folds his wings like praying hands.
the cousins say it for us.
a gravel hill so steep
deer tracks are a slide-foot long,
even the fawn’s.
now at night
all three syllables
make the mating wheel
the goldenrod sags.
land on rag-white thistles,
curve them down,
snipping seeds, tossing silks aside.
When the seedhead bends too far,
they leap to the next one up.
of turning is upon us. The cousins meet it with such fine
aplomb. The ‘yellow-legged’ meadowhawks above
are small tough dragonflies that seem to mate until they freeze
arrows through light,
flies so close my cheek
feels his wind, so close
his crimson head
burns in me for hours.
of such surprise lifts me entirely into the moment.
rush again across the road,
south to north as every fall.
I rescue those I can, as every fall, glad
for their curve inside my palm,
for their bristles
that have rested in my hand
sixty some odd years.
I bend again and walk across
to set the curled one down
and wince: this bending
used to be easy.
is a poor word for the lovely russet of the caterpillar who
is gorgeous in the present instead of when winged.