Tag Archives: birds

30/30 Project: The Poison Control Issue

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woodpecker eating poison ivy

It’s poem #18 in my March Poetry Marathon!  Today the Pileated Woodpecker is back in my neighborhood.  Whenever I hear him, I feel like he is trying to tell me something.  I feel lucky.  I also feel similarly blessed when a cardinal flies in front of me, or I see a hawk several days in a row.  I’ve read that it’s just our human ego acting up when we feel important in the face of animal activity.  I’m also familiar with Native American beliefs about spirit animals and such.  I think I lean toward the latter.  We’re all in this together, the birds and us.  At any rate, my red-headed pal never fails to inspire a poem.  See?  Lucky!

Remember, if you like what you’re reading, be sure to hop (fly?) on over to the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project site and read all of the awesome marathon-poetry being written.  And donate.  Do it!  Please.

Mary Kneels in the Garden

She is prepared for plants out of place,
weeds to follow.
Lady of the Dandelion. Mother of the Lion’s Teeth.

The other women cultivate
neat bushes,
grow showy cacti on their perfect lawns.

To eat what is not meant to be eaten.
To swallow
the hairy stem, the jagged leaf.

Ask the woodpecker why she leaves
her nest,
why she gorges on the ivy. She will tell you

about the beauty of the berry, the joy
of running a tongue
over a living thing, thick and white and round.

Toxicodendron radicans.
Beware
the hairy arms, the hands with narrow fingers,

the fine golden hair. Poison as seasonal,
poison as lover vining your trunk,
creeping toward your throat. Your obituary

a record of children hidden in the heart
in a dying tree,
an urge to devour, a case of mistaken identity.

You will never be the loud bird, the thrumming bird.
Make love to the worms,
the larvae and harmless seeds. From your waste, beauty.

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Halloween Skeleton (Poem)

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Today is a shred of fallen bark. The birds today are slow winged and thick-boned, prone to worm wringing on lawns or stealing seed pods to pad infested nests. For this reason, after rising take a feather pillow to offer the roosting pigeons who will want to harmonize in their thanks. This way you will be able to hollow a bone with precision. Feathers have little reason to do good deeds. Pinfeathers may need to sharpen dull edges with knife blades. This afternoon there is migration of exotics to observe record or join with wings of fallen travelers. Enjoy carving the hollows you could have in all the chasms you think must be filled to love. Use an awl and channel an owl of the type barns might have. This is a spell to cast and change lives.

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This is a skeleton poem* (see skeleton below), a poem created mad-libs style from a horoscope with its meatiest words chopped out. I saw this on Mutating the Signature. Nathan had pasted a link on his facebook page and I borrowed it! Since I’ve been fighting the valient flu fight (my poor children!) all week, I haven’t written a thing! Nothing! This sparked something, and for that I am grateful!

Today is a ____ of ______ _______. The ________ today are _____ _____ and ___ __ __________ to ___ _______ on _________ or _____ __ ___________ to _______ ____ ______. For this reason, ____ _____ take a ______ ____ to ______ the ____ ____ ___ will want to ____ in ____ ______. This way ___ will be able to ______ a _______ with __________. ____ have __ ___________ to do ____ ___. ___ may need to ___________ ____ ____ ____ ________ _______. This afternoon there is ____ of ___________ to _______ _______ or _______ _______ ____ of ____ _______. Enjoy _______ the ___________ ___ could have in all the _______ ___ think ___ _____ ____ to _____. Use a(n) _____ and ____ ____ ____ of the _____ ___ might have. This is a ____ to _____ and ____ ________.