We, the birds in the field

A bird flies up from the tall grass when I enter the field.
Somewhere deep in that wild place
Is a nest, I wanted to say “concealed” for the hidden rhyme
But the image is the important thing:

Me, barefoot. Bird, flying up.
Even if I were a predator
I would not be able to find her nest.
But I don’t need to find its exact location

Any more than I need to worry about rhyming.
This is a poem about a bird’s desperation
As the tractor mows closer and closer.
The farmer and I have agreed

To save one. Go around.
That is how I mow the stone circle

New poem:

Nursery rhymes for our times

Hush-a-by baby
On the poor farm
The drought so severe,
Grasshoppers swarm.
When the grasshoppers leave
Nothing green will remain.
Where is the baby?
Where is the rain?
 
Two, four, six,
Eight, ten,
I’d throw the president
in the pen.
Twelve, fourteen,
sixteen, eighteen;
there’s no one better.
How very obscene!

 
Fake news, fake news,
President can
Make us feel like idiots
When his sh*t hits the fan.
Get mad, feel bad,
But make a mental note:
Next time find an honest one
Worthy of our vote.
 

Mr. Heron

 
It’s really very simple,
How things are going to change.
 
We learn what we need to know by watching
How Mr. heron stands in the marsh.
 
He stands until the tide ebbs
To the point where a large fish
 
Leaps free
As if tossed up by the water
 
In a floppy arc.
And then Mr. Heron stirs
 
Like a business man
In a dark suit,
 
Lifting himself slowly on wings
That never hurry.
 
And then you turn to me and say,
He looks sad.
 
Yes, it is much sadder than beautiful
To watch him fly away.
 
 
Gary Lindorff
 
garylindorff.wordpress.com

New poem:

What am I shouting?

XX
 

I saw a photo of an elephant in a concrete cell
alone,
so alone.
She was holding her own tail with her trunk
to close the circle of
herself,
a loop of loneliness,
standing, eyes closed
to the long sentence of her life.
I just would like to know. . .
What?
I just would like to know!
How can the intelligence that created such a creature
stand by and watch it suffer so.
And then I realized,
that’s me.
That’s all of us,
holding our tails in our trunks.
But were we not created to thunder
and trumpet
and love each other
as only elephants can,
crossing the great grasslands together
as a family?
And as we slumber,
to be painted silver by the moon?
So, is that it?
Because,
because . . . so many years of standing back
and watching things unravel
have taken a toll on me,
on my elephant nature.
And so I shout out
into the tornado,
but what I shout
even I don’t
know.
 
 
Gary Lindorff
https://garylindorff.wordpress.com

What am I shouting?

I saw a photo of an elephant in a concrete cell
alone,
so alone.
She was holding her own tail with her trunk
to close the circle of
herself,
a loop of loneliness,
standing, eyes closed
to the long sentence of her life.
I just would like to know. . .
What?
I just would like to know!
How can the intelligence that created such a creature
stand by and watch it suffer so.
And then I realized,
that’s me.
That’s all of us,
holding our tails in our trunks.
But were we not created to thunder
and trumpet
and love each other
as only elephants can,

New poem:

Poet's Notebook: My poem, 'The life expectancy of a homeless person is 50 years,' followed by comments

The life expectancy of a homeless person is 50 years
 

A crow will never peck out the eyes of another crow.
Perhaps that is why they live longer than men.

(Paraphrase from a poem by Shukrulla.)
 
I am a crow.
Shukrulla is right,
I would never peck out the eyes of another.
 
We fight each other and sometimes we are rough
But mostly we stick to language.
 
“Hey, Garbage Wing, can’t you share?
You be the lookout for a change, I’ll work the field!”
 
Like that.
 
But we watch some of you combing the dumps
To feed your families
And we watch some of you living high above each other
In gleaming towers with blue water on every floor
That you rarely go in and never drink
But lounge beside in the sun
Covering your eyes with dark scales,
Blaring annoying sounds that seem to make you happy.
 
Like that.
 
Caw!
Caw!
Caw!

 
What am I saying?
 
I am saying,
We know you
Better than you know yourselves.
We have watched you very closely
For a very long time!
 

New poem:

Poet's Notebook: My poem, 'Choose your metaphor' followed by comments

Choose your metaphor
 
 
I spilled the beans and now I have egg on my shirt.
My beard is unintentional.
I’m long in the tooth
So nobody cares if my eye twitches
Or if I clear my throat a lot
But have nothing to say,
Or if I scratch my scalp
And dandruff falls on my black shirt.
I smile more for no reason,
I frown more for good reason.
I don’t drop as much stuff
Because I don’t like picking it up.
I’m careful not to break stuff
For a similar reason.
I like most animals more than people.
I don’t want to know what people say about me
Because I can’t change,
And if they say something nice about me
It probably isn’t true anyway.
My mother braided the rug in front of me.
Somewhere in the coils is an old shirt my father wore.
This is not a metaphor.
The edge is worn in front of my chair
Where I place my feet.
This is a metaphor.
I don’t always answer the phone.
I like yogurt, but not all yogurt.
I like Seven Stars and Butterworks.
I wish I could be 40 again
But, with that,
I wish the world could also be
26 years younger.
I would have done much more
To prevent what has happened to our world.
For one thing, if I could do it over,
I wouldn’t be so self-centered.
 

Comments:
 

I just read that “happiness is a choice”. If this is true, and I think it is, then so, I assume, is unhappiness. In this poem I seem to be looking at myself in a mirror that reflects my discontent.
 

Poet's Notebook: My poem, "True story of a one-legged duck" followed by comments

True story about a one-legged duck, a parable
 

I was walking down the bike path
between Poultney and Castleton on a hot summer day.
It used to be a railroad track,
passing through fields, forest and bog.
 
There behind an old derelict farm,
right up against the raised path,
was an old beaver pond.
And in the middle of the pond
 
There was a small island
that used to be the beaver lodge.
And on the island
stood a white, one-legged duck.
 
I stopped and looked at the duck, which held my gaze,
it was so beautiful!
I wished it a good day.
 
I stopped again on the way back to my car.
It hadn’t moved perceptibly.
 

New poem:

Poet's Notebook: My poem, 'Bright liberal, you are called' followed by comments

Bright liberal, you are called
 

You are called
to attend a wedding
at the bend in the river
where glacial melt
flows out of the mountain’s shadow
and quickens
before it leaps into space
transmuting
into valley water.
 
The minister is a
full-fledged shaman
whose eyes reflect the mountains
that protect his soul
from the likes of you.
 
Bright liberal,
you are called!
You obediently followed the river all the way
through the hills
and gorges,
against the current,
to this place of gathering.
 
You deserve a rest!
 
You are weary.
All your ideas are weary.
 

Your dreams
are a flock of birds
chattering in the sycamores
with all the flight gone from their wings
as if it were the end of the day,
but in truth it is still early!
 
Rest.
 
The bride’s dress,
river-washed,
is flapping in the breeze
against white peaks.
 
You, one seven-billionth
of the human race,
you, bright liberal,
are called
to witness this union.
 

Poet's Notebook:

'Earth' (followed by comments)

The fish bowl
is a pretty sight
on the dresser
by the window.

The fish
so pretty,
silver and orange,
red and black,

rainbow flashes.
The little ones
in groups,
dodging and regrouping.

The larger ones,
suspended
like a mobile
in space.

Little ceramic castle
with its drawbridge.

Murmur of the filter.
So pretty.
So peaceful.
So doomed.
 

    — Gary Lindorff