Thursday, February 26, 2015

Morning Walk With Bird Cries

      It has been months since I've written a blog, because whatever I’ve had to say the Muse has grabbed for poetry. In fairness to her, she always teases out ideas I haven’t thought of. 

      If I feed her the Muse will work for attention, but her diet, her cravings, can be mysterious. Generally, she feeds on culture, but sometimes I have to make imaginal  trips to specialty stores. For example, the prints of the Japanese printmakers Hiroshige and Hokusai are her sushi. She can make a main course out of a complex myth like The Crane Wife, or the rain forest. Sometimes it’s hot peppers and, on occasion, bitter herbs to remind me of those who are still enslaved. 
The Crane Wife    unknown Japanese artist
My curiosity shifts when the Muse is here. I explore images and myth and theater and nature and myself. It's not really research - more like a butterfly collecting nectar,  flitting flower to flower. When I find what the Muse wants, she gives me an opening line, or fills me with words.

       Where is the Muse when she's not here? On vacation, a religious retreat, maybe having an affair? When she arrives she gives Commandments: I am your Muse, the Nameless One. Thou shalt have no other interests before Me. Honor My Time and keep it Holy.  
Greek vase  5th Century B.C. E. 

      Today she made an appetizer out of a bird call, had a buffet of animals and gave me rhyme and rhythm.  I am grateful, and I’ll put the new poem here because I want it to be read. And now, after hours of work, I’m starved, so it's time for a late lunch.

  Morning Walk with Bird Call

 ‹ Life ›  ‹ life ›   cry the crows
and when I pause 

the long-running performance 
that plays in my mind 
and listen    I am revived
I ask how to keep species alive
and the Muse speaks -
Tell those who don’t love 
the pawed and tailed  
finned and horned 
that it’s people who need animals 
Mention crows and lizards 
starfish and ocelots
because profusion startles 
the narcissist
Describe lark and lynx and lizard
since feather fur and scale
teach us the genius 
of shapeshifting cells
Finally, creatures remind us 
that innocence means 
not knowing
And we humans know too much
don’t we?