Drooolin, Droolin, where’s your nest?
Tis in the bush that I love best
In the tree, the holly tree,
Where all the boys do follow me.
Where was I this wren day? In buttoned, in house, warmth and under wraps.
birds of i failure i can see
I was late to the hunt, in snow, and the wren came to say hello. My eyes, the glasses fogged and not right, barely worked but I could see her shape, or his, Bewick’s and low down in the brush, tail upcocked. The wren was looking at me, and speaking. I didn’t have a wren stick but I did have two ski poles, uneven, to push me across the ground. My body hurt and the wren was a delight. I left with nothing to hold, nothing to bury.
I’m still in chaos…
as if I were making/progress
Once upon a time, I could say my vocation was the birds and believe it. Now, I know that this is fantasy. Wren’s vocation is the birds. Except it’s not. No one’s vocation is anyone else’s. Wren is to wren as I am to me. Wren is to Bird as Human is to Mammal. We are so hobbled by linguistic imprecision.
He wants the natural touch… the poor wren,
Once upon a time, I could say, “I study quail.” But there is little matter in that, in the wider scheme of things. Who gives a fuck about the quail? (mememememe). That’s ended. Shut down. Closed up. My business is with people now. (As it ever was as, it as ever it is, with anyone).
there is something I must remember which time has shattered
Every little bird opens a window of grief. I lived in the illusion that something other than humans and human commerce could matter, could be a foundation for a life.
It will not be called memory
I’ll try again.
Once upon a time, the kingly wren, the hunted wren was wrendo and wrendilo in Old High German. Once upon a time it was also kinglet. Kinglet, because the wren, in hiding in the eagles’ feathers, was carried much of the way into the sky, and hence was able to outfly the eagle. Becoming king wren. Becoming hunted.
The wren the wren the king of the birds…
Kinglets are not wrens but I swear to god I saw a ruby crowned and a golden crowned kinglet tangling in the leaves. A rustle and they emerged up into the sky. I had my eyes, poor as they are, helped again by my crappy glasse,s but I was so close and they were right there and I could see the top of their heads, the crests are so brilliant, that I’m not sure how I could be wrong even though, really….
I don’t know about you but I just want to be held
The crests of the kinglets, the crests of the quail.
Once upon a time, I sat in the dusk and they called as they assembled. Rustles and their shapes shooting into the tree. One step from from the quail. Another. I sat in the dusk; I sat and I watched and listened. The evening air was warm and the breath of the plants held me close. My legs were cramped but the pain felt good, felt real. I listened without moving as the dusk fell deeper and deeper and the quail shifted and moved, settling in. When I stood, the quail were silent. Somewhere else the great horned owls shifted. Somewhere else the coyote stood and stretched. Somewhere else, or maybe right here, maybe in the same tree, on a branch nearby the quail, a house wren slept. I turned to go and the moonless sky opened up and embraced me.
did you become
Note: Excerpts are from the Wrenboy’s song, Alice Notley Reason and Other Women, William Shakespeare Macbeth, Michelle Detorie After Cave, E. M. Forster Howard’s End.