all the singing is in the tops of trees

Ruby Crowned Kinglet at Conowingo Dam

 

 

Here’s a wonderful poem by Mary Oliver:

White-Eyes

BY MARY OLIVER

In winter

all the singing is in

the tops of the trees

where the wind-bird

 

with its white eyes

shoves and pushes

among the branches.

Like any of us

 

he wants to go to sleep,

but he’s restless—

he has an idea,

and slowly it unfolds

 

from under his beating wings

as long as he stays awake.

But his big, round music, after all,

is too breathy to last.

 

So, it’s over.

In the pine-crown

he makes his nest,

he’s done all he can.

 

I don’t know the name of this bird,

I only imagine his glittering beak

tucked in a white wing

while the clouds—

 

which he has summoned

from the north—

which he has taught

to be mild, and silent—

 

thicken, and begin to fall

into the world below

like stars, or the feathers

of some unimaginable bird

 

that loves us,

that is asleep now, and silent—

that has turned itself

into snow.

 

Source: Poetry (Poetry Foundation, 2002)

 

01_3

Artist: Lucy Grossmith

 

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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