Friday, May 8, 2009

Bird by Bird: A Celebration of New River with Pablo Neruda


Now
to look for birds!


The high iron branches
in the forest,
the dense
fecundity of the soil,
the whole world
is wet,
rain or dew


shines, a tiny
star
in the leaves:
in the early morning
mother earth is
cool,

the air
is like a river
that shakes
the silence,
it smells of rosemary,
of space
and roots.


Above,
a wild song,
a waterfall,
it's a bird.

How
from a throat
smaller than a finger
can the waters
of this song fall?

Luminous grace!
Invisible
power,
torrent
of music
in the leaves,
sacred conversation!


Clean, washed, cool
is this day,
resonant
like a green zither,


I bury
my shoes
in the mud,

I leap over springs,
a thorn
nips me and a gust
of air like a crystal
wave
separates on my chest.

Where
are the birds?
Was that one, maybe,
that
whispering in the foliage
or that fugitive ball
of gray velvet
or that sudden shift
of perfume?

That leaf
which the cinnamon tree let go,
was it a bird? That dust
from the irritated magnolia
or that fruit
which fell resounding,
was that a flight?

O invisible little cretins,
fiendish birds,
go
to hell
with your twittering,
with your useless feathers!

I just wanted
to stroke them,
to see them glisten,
I don't want
to see their lightning embalmed
in a showcase,

I wanted to see them alive,
I want to touch their gloves
of genuine leather,
which they never forget in the branches,
and to talk with them
on my shoulders
even if they leave me like certain statues
undeservedly whitened.


Impossible.
They can't be touched,
they can be heard
like a heavenly
whisper or movement,
they talk
precisely,
repeat
their observation,


brag
about whatever they're doing,
comment
on whatever exists,
master
certain sciences
like hydrology
and know for certain
where all the grains
are being harvested.

Well then,
invisible
birds
of the forest, of the woods,
of the pure bower,
birds of the acacia
and of the oak,
crazy, amorous,
astonishing birds,
conceited
soloists,
migratory musicians,

one last
word
before
I go back
with wet shoes, thorns
and dry leaves
to my home:



vagabonds,
I love you
free,
far from the shotgun and the cage,
fugitive
corollas,
this is the way
I love you,
ungraspable,
united and sonorous
society of the heights,
liberated
leaves,
champions
of the air,
petals
of smoke,
free,
cheerful

flyers and singers,
aerial, terrestrial,
sailors of the wind,
happy
builders
of the softest nests,
unceasing
messengers of pollen,
matchmakers
of the flower, uncles
of the seed,


I love you,
ingrates:
I'm going home,
happy to have lived with you
a moment
in the rain.

Ode to Birdwatching
Pablo Neruda


Bird by Bird
We have come to know the earth

at the New River Birding and Nature Festival
Nina from Nature Remains
Barb from My Bird Tales
Kathie from Sycamore Canyon
Lynne from Hasty Brook
Laura from Somewhere in NJ
Kathi from Katdoc's World
Mary from Mary's View
not pictured:
Kathleen from A Glorious Life

What we discovered at New River, Bird by Bird:
(Remember to embiggen the photos)
pictured top to bottom: Ovenbird; New River Gorge; Wake Robin Trillium; Red Eft; Fiddlehead Fern; Black and White Warbler; West Virginia Woodlands; Spring Blooms; Pitcher Plant; Pitcher Plant; Millipede, Lichen, Water Glider Shadows; Pipevine Swallowtails and Nessus Sphinx Moth; New River; Cascade of White Violets; Red Eft; Marsh Marigold; Black-Capped Chickadee; New River Gorge Bridge; and the 2009 New River Nature Bloggers.
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