Archives for posts with tag: natural world

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HARDWARE SPARROWS
by R. T. Smith

Out for a deadbolt, light bulbs 
and two-by-fours, I find a flock 
of sparrows safe from hawks

and weather under the roof 
of Lowe’s amazing discount 
store. They skitter from the racks

of stockpiled posts and hoses 
to a spill of winter birdseed 
on the concrete floor. How

they know to forage here, 
I can’t guess, but the automatic 
door is close enough,

and we’ve had a week 
of storms. They are, after all, 
ubiquitous, though poor,

their only song an irritating 
noise, and yet they soar 
to offer, amid hardware, rope

and handyman brochures, 
some relief, as if a flurry 
of notes from Mozart swirled

from seed to ceiling, entreating 
us to set aside our evening 
chores and take grace where

we find it, saying it is possible, 
even in this month of flood, 
blackout and frustration,

to float once more on sheer 
survival and the shadowy 
bliss we exist to explore. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: R.T. (Rod) Smith‘s collections of poetry include From the High Dive (1983), The Cardinal Heart (1991), Hunter-Gatherer (1996), Trespasser: Poems (1996), Split the Lark: Selected Poems (1999), Messenger (2001), Brightwood (2003), The Hollow Log Lounge (2003), and Outlaw Style: Poems (2008). He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts and has won the Cohen Prize from Ploughshares and a Pushcart Prize.

Illustration: “Sparrow’s Nest” (mixed media) by Elena Ray, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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MOTH AUBADE

by R.T. Smith

Downstairs early to mill
the morning coffee,
I find the kitchen wall

beside the lamp
is littered with moths
exhausted from a night

of circling the globe,
as if its light were
the source of joy.

As I approach in slippers
they hardly flutter
but hold their postures,

perhaps in their small
thoughts counting on me,
a frequent dreamer

still drowsy from reverie,
to show them mercy.
Pouring the beans, then

turning the worn handle
till the brass gears growl,
I study every wing

design—solid, striped
or mottled. To the Greeks
they were all psyche,

spirit drawn to flame,
but this August morning
I wish, before they perish,

to revive us all
with the scent of chicory
and conduct them out

the kitchen window
singing their luminous
individual names.

Photo: Ike Gomez, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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HARDWARE SPARROWS

by R. T. Smith

Out for a deadbolt, light bulbs 
and two-by-fours, I find a flock 
of sparrows safe from hawks

and weather under the roof 
of Lowe’s amazing discount 
store. They skitter from the racks

of stockpiled posts and hoses 
to a spill of winter birdseed 
on the concrete floor. How

they know to forage here, 
I can’t guess, but the automatic 
door is close enough,

and we’ve had a week 
of storms. They are, after all, 
ubiquitous, though poor,

their only song an irritating 
noise, and yet they soar 
to offer, amid hardware, rope

and handyman brochures, 
some relief, as if a flurry 
of notes from Mozart swirled

from seed to ceiling, entreating 
us to set aside our evening 
chores and take grace where

we find it, saying it is possible, 
even in this month of flood, 
blackout and frustration,

to float once more on sheer 
survival and the shadowy 
bliss we exist to explore. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: R.T. (Rod) Smith‘s collections of poetry include From the High Dive (1983), The Cardinal Heart (1991),Hunter-Gatherer (1996), Trespasser: Poems (1996), Split the Lark: Selected Poems(1999), Messenger (2001), Brightwood (2003), The Hollow Log Lounge (2003), and Outlaw Style: Poems (2008). He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts and has won the Cohen Prize from Ploughshares and a Pushcart Prize.

Illustration: “Sparrow’s Nest” (mixed media) by Elena Ray, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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” … I come here every day, say hello to the butterflies, and talk about things with them. When the time comes, though, they just quietly go off and disappear. I’m sure it means they’ve died, but I can never find their bodies. They don’t leave any trace behind. It’s like they’ve been absorbed by the air. They’re dainty little creatures that hardly exist at all: they come out of nowhere, search quietly for a few, limited things, and disappear into nothingness again, perhaps to some other world.”  HARUKI MURAKAMI, IQ84

Photo: Melanie Huff, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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BUTTERFLY

Poem by David Herbert Lawrence

Butterfly, the wind blows sea-ward,
strong beyond the garden-wall!
Butterfly, why do you settle on my
shoe, and sip the dirt on my shoe,
Lifting your veined wings, lifting them?
big white butterfly!
 
Already it is October, and the wind
blows strong to the sea
from the hills where snow must have
fallen, the wind is polished with
snow.
Here in the garden, with red
geraniums, it is warm, it is warm
but the wind blows strong to sea-ward,
white butterfly, content on my shoe!
 
Will you go, will you go from my warm
house?
Will you climb on your big soft wings,
black-dotted,
as up an invisible rainbow, an arch
till the wind slides you sheer from the
arch-crest
and in a strange level fluttering you go
out to sea-ward, white speck!

Photo: Grace Ray, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED