Bio Note: We are only beginning to see crocus flowers here, in northern New England. The April mornings are thick with fog; news of the world thick with war. As I grapple with struggle and difficulty, I remember to seek out the purple, white, and yellow petals; the green shoots pushing through. Poetry community gives me hope.
Down in the Heart, I Look Up to the Sky
Clinging to birds like droplets of hope. Loving each for simply appearing. Watching them glisten the trees in our yard; above wild flow of the Mascoma River. Loving each for having feathers and beaks. For sharing the branches and bird feeder perches. Their language of song, put out to the wind, joins a fabric of sky with cotton ball clouds. Darling chickadees swoop the air, helmeted in caps. Jays muscle in, uniformed sharply in blue. Goldfinches amass, boisterous in yellow bunches. Do they know of war? Invasion and destruction underway in Ukraine. Do they feel the threat of nuclear doom? The long yellow-blue bruise of racism wounding our nations? Do they realize the gift they are to this human being? Reminder post-it notes of connection. Anti-anxiety medication; imperfect (not cure) but helping. Little flying pills, flitting in sunlight, each one a resting spot for too-fast pulse, too-busy thoughts, too-dark fears. Attaching helplessness to each little wing, each little taloned foot; I feed it to each beak, and let it fly away, return, fly away absorbed in feathers and the busy-work of surviving. Relief, sweet, like crying. Little birds/little tear drops. Gathering and evaporating to join the sky; to fill the river.
The Blue of My Ink
…hallelujah! Whatever my pen can name, my pen can defeat * February 25, 2022. Shoveling, and there’s freshly falling war in Ukraine. We’ve been at this rodeo in so many places so many times. Refugees with nowhere to go, a culture in ruins. News precipitates in tweets and posts, the headlines blanket our screens with building grief; an icy grip of unexplainable harms… It snows relentlessly today. Most had melted but we’re back here again, shuttered in, preparing for a fight, shovel vs. lower back muscle, and an itinerary of clear the path, clear the path, clear it again, and again. A street plow lumbers by, tank-like, and leaves a line of condensed snow across each driveway; an extra edge of challenge. A border to cross. Inside, I put pen to paper and keep it moving, and will, until there’s no more space to fill, or no more ink to flow. The blue of my ink will match, volume to volume, each cold sorrow. Writing a tunnel to tomorrow some will come through.*Patricia Smith, speaking “about this poem”, poem-a-day from poets.org 2/25/2022 (her poem: The Sun, Mad Envious, Just Wants the Moon)
Also appears in Support Ukraine, from Moonstone Arts, May 2022.
©2022 Marjorie Moorhead
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