Friday, December 09, 2005

"hey lady"

Today a Dove

Today a dove,
plumage downy fawn
fluffed against cold winds.
and then another,
and another still
slender necks
soft peaceful eyes
velvet mourning cries -
begin my day.

And now round juncos
as if dipped in soot
delicately dance away the chill;
tiny jumping
muffled hops,

o'er icy ground

There on branches laid
bare the

courtly sings
red crest flaming against
white canvass - so clean
with his
cutting through

frozen air

and into them
a auburn squirrel charges -
claiming all his own;
and sits -
and eats -
with oh-so-clever-hands,
and ever-twinkling eyes.

Today a dove
tomorrow, sparrows, finches
and perhaps a chickadee;
their tender quiet plumes
do brush against my soul
diffusing warmest sunlight
within me .

Yesterday, in a fit of insanity (this my husband did argue - avidly this afternoon) - during a fairly decent amount of snowfall (for the midwest anyhow) I happened to pass by my favourite bird supply store... and...well.... it has become very tedious thawing and breaking ice on the front yard bird bath, and the one in the back - well forget it. So slyly I slipped in - collar turned up, head down (in case I was spotted). Once inside I showed a remarkable amount of self control and only purchased one (reasonably priced) heated bird bath and a (smallish) bag of seeds for my cardinals.

In a further fit of decadence have spent the morning NOT doing paper work (am sitting on it) but listened to Chopin & Beethoven, did some writing, caught up on emails and watched my birds 'experiment with their new toy - while drinking chai tea and eating dark chocolate - will there be no end to this lunacy?? But if you could see a junco in a heated bird bath, maybe you would understand.

The one feeder (I have 7 or 8 in total) is attached to window by my desk so the birds are about 2ft away from me - a fact not always lost on my cats as they make a mad dash across the carpet landing on my desk (losing their footing on the 20 layers of paper which they spread out in fan formation onto the floor) usually ending in a flap of exiting feathers, and an uncomforting thud as McCavity's head hits the glass window. sigh.... I do love this feeder, because it seems the birds look right at me. (especially when the seed is getting low, then there is an abrupt tap and a "hey lady" (translated of course from several bird dialects) and dutifully I go out and re-fill...

It is a similar look I receive from my dogs, and cats, and gerbils (
Elizabeth's), and rats (Catherine's, Graham's) and fish (mine?? - can't remember how they came to live with me) and especially my kids (and of course their friends and friends and friends' friends) - except that they talk (loud & often - I am trying to remember the logic behind all those early language exercises I did with them...).

The "hey lady" look. my life is defined by it somedays. here. the humane society. the shelter. birds. friends who just need an ear over lunch - I feed people. my animals, my kids, their friends, my friends, people on the street, whoever is hungry should have food.

"Hey lady"

okay, I'm coming.....

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