Wind Chimes with Birds
Prisms of Jell-O green glass
soft clang, three metal crows rest
and sometimes dance in Autumn wind,
who will not decamp to a foreign perch.
Yet I love the freedom of living birds,
their view from forest citadels,
the next mountain range, even the Rockies.
Through the skylight, high in our redwood
spindly and dark with age yet fragrant,
our occasional hawk in topmost boughs,
usually facing west, today, searches north.
I could never train such a wonder,
hooded, claws leather-strapped down:
one foot two foot forced rhythm
tethered on hand-hewn wood.
With my field glasses I follow his gaze:
“What is he seeking,
no lunch among the day stars?”
The full moon, platinum blond leaves a tinge of sun.
Will he be leaving? Migrating?
If he doesn’t return at least we have known
grandeur, making our home a mansion.
If I were with the Inuit, I would say Raven,
but here in the Central Valley,
I honor hawk, his hawkish ways.
Never a mate, maybe a loner
side stepping choreography, his own foothold
in the flutter: red, amber and burgundy
leaves gathered at his feet as offering.
How I Came to Write this Poem
Many believe we become
what we gaze at.
That means someday
I will be this squirrel at the edge
of the road, curled
into a C shape,
though my instructions say
divide my remains
between two summits.
For now, I am a velvety crow
in this lush green field,
satisfied with what I intend to do.
I bask in the coolness
of a silver rain bird arcing
overhead. No secret:
plant and animal, the day moon,
a watery disc I catch
in my ebony beak.
Such packed jewels, a lifetime
of satin strands and rich plasmas
just for me,
just here, just now.
Jeanine Stevens is the author of Inheritor (Future Cycle Press), and Sailing on Milkweed, (Cherry Grove Collections). Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt (selected by Phil Levine), The Stockton Arts Commission Award, The Ekphrasis Prize and WOMR Cape Cod Community Radio National Poetry Award. Brief Immensity, recently won the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Award. Poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Evansville Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Chiron Review, Pearl, Stoneboat, Connecticut River Review, Provincetown Magazine and Rosebud. Jeanine recently received her sixth Pushcart Nomination. She studied poetry at U.C. Davis and California State University, Sacramento.
Featured photo credit: Ron Knight, Creative Commons, colors modified from original