Cat 1

I have the joy of Monarch caterpillars  – at least six of them- chowing down on this Swamp Milkweed plant in my garden!

The photos don’t do justice to the experience of seeing them, but here’s another photo:

Cat 5


Here’s a marvelous poem by Paul Hostovsky:



After Ian Sanborn’s ASL poem of the same title


A man with eyes as blank

as the indifference of nature

is staring straight ahead

as the whole thing unfolds.

He has a black beard, black

shirt, black woolen cap —

he could be a thief — you better

keep your eyes on his hands

which have begun clearing

a clearing. Here he plants

a seed as small as his own

fingernail, and shazam! it sprouts

roots, shoots, stems, branches —

a whole tree shouldering up,

tossing and swaying in the air

between the sun’s magic hands

and the man’s indifferent eyes.

Next thing you know, an orphan

index finger is worming its way

across the stage that wasn’t

a stage until your eyeing it

made it so. It inches over

to the tree like a lost knuckle

finding its way home, its feelers

testing, feeling, sniffing, finding

purchase, finding a toe-hold,

the tiny, spiny, hairy, leg-like

appendages beginning to wiggle,

to climb, to shinny up the tree,

the elbow, the sheer escarpment,

pausing to send out a line,

a lasso, a long rope as fine

as the filament of a spider

launched from its abdomen

and hooking the thumb

of the lowest branch. A rope for

rappelling, for jumping off

this cliff, taking this dive,

twisting as it untwists, enfolding

as it unfolds, holding on for

dear life as it spins itself into

silk, those indifferent eyes

almost imperceptibly squinting

in sympathy with this closing

up, this cloaking, this cloistering,

this hanging upside down with

a pulse inside. A fluttering

pulse. A pulse like the flutter

of eyelids. Like the flutter

of wings. A heartbeat growing

stronger, stronger, breaking

out, breaking free, the wings

opening, the eyes opening as if

all this time they were closed —

the blank eyes opening to the

wings, taking them in, incredulous,

in love with them — and the black

and white has grown iridescent;

the orphaned knuckle has found

the hands; the hands have found

their wings, and we are all

utterly blown away.


Cat 6



Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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