Bio Note: The transition from July to August in Vermont highlights this month's theme of change. The fireflies disappear. So do most of the mosquitoes. I've been enchanted by the flying creatures that remain: birds, dragonflies, and butterflies. That's been the stuff of my writing recently. For information on my poetry and my new book Checkered Mates, visit triciaknoll.com.
My mind flits from place to place this hot July morning as errands take me to the community garden and the library. Robins know the heat. They land on lattice I built to grow beans as I spray cold water on purple onions and pie pumpkin vines. On the library steps a mother and her little girl marvel as a blizzard-hatch of white moths float like ash from Mt. St. Helens. I repeat a Zuni butterfly blessing while thousands of miles away you wait to be allowed to go home to your cabin in the Oregon pines, under red flag evacuation from the fire torching the Crooked River grasslands. Driven out, you flee drifting sparks and shifting winds. At my home a postcard arrives – a marble angel folds her off-white wings and carries a nail, a spike as long as her torso. As night descends, fireflies flare inside my woods, randomness angels confront as truth – with uncertainties of rejuvenation, crucifixion and conflagration.
Awe By the Numbers
Starling murmurations twist fractals of ribald sea waves, so roil these cyclones of darkness against a patient moon. Vaux swifts spiral into a school chimney where the new furnace gives the swifts a safe September to spend the night by the tens of thousands before they fly south. Twenty million bats pour from Bracken Cave. Twenty million, minus ones that sicken. These numbers are the inverse of loss. Fingerprints linked to dread. I never saw the passenger pigeon or the free-range bison. I want numbers too big to count.
As if trust is tangible, each foothold on a rusting cup As if today’s light snowfall is all the world, As if the mellow bell I ring brings dinner to the table the flocks of chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and cardinals wait near the window as if trust is earned in caring day after day for winter birds to sort, peck toss seed, and chase each other. As if this is enough
©2021 Tricia Knoll
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