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Tuesday, 1 December 2009




Two gospel hummingbirds
I thought I saw in the rainsoaked redwood
Microworld dollhouse spaces weren't

They were mere remnant hummingbird memories
Cold green heaven perpetuum mobile dreams
Zipping among the fogshroud needle masses

Some kind of thought process husks
Containing the liquidated thought dust
Of long since vaporized summers


Green Violet-ear (Colibri thallasinus): photo by Mdf, 2008
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna): photo by Mdf, 2005


Elmo St. Rose said...

between Thanksgiving and Christmas

the bio-chemistry and physics
of hummingbird energetics

Pinkerbell said...

Beautiful picture. We saw a hummingbird in St Lucia, it was soo tiny, just like a big bug.

I like this line:
"long since vaporized summers" - it's got two levels I supposed, vaporized because they have gone, but also because they were so hot.

TC said...

Elmo and Pinkerbell,

These lovely comments add small flashing aspects to the poem, like micro-wingbeats of its trace in time.

. said...

Hummingbirds are proof of magic,just like the magic of memories.

TC said...

Ah, the hummers. I have fudged a bit and pictured the violet-ear, essentially a tropical creature. Up here we have Calypte anna, or Anna's Hummingbird (named after Anna Massena, Duchess of Rivoli). They are the only subspecies that stays up north for the winter. There are winter flowers and food (insects, tree sap) to support them. When it gets down near freezing, as it is right now, they spend the daylight hours eating and gaining weight by turning sugar directly into fat. Those with insufficient stores of fat and/or insufficient plumage simply reduce their metabolic rate and enter a state of torpor. We see a lot less of them at this time of year, of course. Yet they are here, mostly out of sight, but surviving. A memory of summer that pops up now and then on a bright day and proves itself real.

They look like this.

V said...

Why weren't they? They aren't here at all in Europe.

I hear them all around every time I am back in CA. I don't go on and on about them anymore

Zephirine said...

Beautiful little birds. Do hummingbirds sing, as well as hum?

The only bird we have in the UK which can compete in colour is the kingfisher, which is pretty damn fast too, but in a different way. It also has a lovely call, not a song but once heard never forgotten.

TC said...


The hum of course is the sound of the wings beating up to 90 times a second as they hover. (They have the most rapid metabolism of any living creature, hearts beating up to 1200 times a minute).

But they do make little peep-songs and squeak-songs also. And if you stand perfectly still and hold out a flower or a sugar-feeding tube, they will literally hover and eat out of your hand.

The wise lady of the manor says they are squeaking and peeping because they are happy.

They are indeed a great happy-making wonderment of creation.