Watching the birds dart here and there for a bit of tuft or twig, makes me lonesome to find my own home, a place of belonging. How easy it is for animals to court and make a nest. But then again, they have to remake their house every year. They must woo every year. Not even the lesser beasts have it easy.
The moon travels the sky in an arc and I trace its path along the glass, following where it must have risen and where it will sink. I breathe against the cold pane and dip my fingers against the smooth surface. As the fog fades away, I wish my life’s road was as straightforward and knowable.
Warm sunshine like a cloak of home lays along my balcony window
The sky has never looked so blue and I forget the snows of days past
It must be impossible for the world to be anything but green
Nothing of sadness or heartache is nurtured here
The old is stripped away, bad memories plucked and crushed
I sing headily with the waters of Lethe, and sip until I am full
When I was a little girl
My greatest sin was leaving
A kitten in the rain
Abandoned and alone, crawling along
the pavement, kneeling at my feet
To cuddle up to me
I reached down to stroke it
And it gratefully wiped itself dry on my jeans
Purring all the while
Want to keep it, I conferred with my sisters
Could not keep it, agreed with my sisters
And left it on the other side of the road
Crying after us
On the tree outside, there is a bud that has been sleeping all season. Through the rains and the scorching days, past the bloom of daffodils and the fallen maple leaves. The autumn wind gusts in, billowing great folds of ochre and red. She leaves a train of white in her departure and I stand alone, with only the mist of my own breath as company, when the bud blooms. Who do you greet? I think sadly, this delicate blossom that will never meet its sisters or brothers, the bee or butterfly that promises immortality in its offspring. The sun is kind today and melts the snow, until it sits like spring dew upon the flower petals. They wink like secrets on that flower that opens so bravely, and I think a thought so powerful, I must shatter the winter stillness: “Ah, you’ve met me.” And it is such an easy thing, to smile.
Birds at the Bronx Zoo
There seems to be a theme going on in my life: one that consists of tigers. After watching and laughing at Bollywood’s rom-com, “Ek Tha Tiger,” and picking up Téa Obreht’s “Tiger’s Wife” for some leisure reading, I decided to visit a real tiger at Bronx Zoo but ended up going crazy (as usual) for the birds.
I am a birdwatcher in New York City, but like most people, I was anticipating the large animals when I went to the zoo. But the lions, bears, and tigers (oh my!) were snoozing in the summer heat. The tigers were sprawled on their backs; the lions kept distant on a faint plateau above their natural deer-ish prey, grazing unmolested; and the polar bear, white and iconic, dozed with out-flung limbs on the rocky shore near his artificial pool. He remained stubbornly deaf to the human, zoo-going horde screaming and gesticulating wildly beyond his enclosure. It was if we were the ones trying to impress him and not the other way around.
But why should we be impressed?
Turtles on the Move
Photo credited to Konrad Fiedler, nysun.com
Here in NYC, the birds have mostly migrated through (with a few cedar waxwings popping in every now and then) but the turtles are on the move! Most of them are on the prowl for a good nesting site. Of course, it’s a bit tricky, navigating your way around fences and stretches of pavement.
I’ve always wondered what happened to the turtles during winter, and doubted that they migrated to the park during the summer. It turns out that they hibernate, just like bears.