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Saturday, 6 March 2010



File:Red winged blackbird - natures pics.jpg

atrophy dream

leafy eddying
faraway buzz
planes above

File:Yellow rumped warbler - natures pics.jpg

Red-Winged Blackbird (Male), Colony Farm Regional Park, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia: photo by Alan D. Wilson, 2006
Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Paradise Pond, Port Aransas, Texas: photo by Alan D. Wilson, 2006



Dear Tom,
NIce to see these birds, read people, hear the jet passing overhead (just now here). Rain clouds, nothing quite materialized yesterday (maybe today?).


grey of rain cloud above shadowed green
plane of ridge, robin calling on branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

space-time continuum, means
only “physically real”

view, compare simplest form,
second important part

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
grey of rain cloud to the left of point

TC said...

Steve, thanks for the first daylight as always and also for bringing the robin into the field of play with the red-winged blackbird and the yellow-rumped warbler, in the space time continuum.

A few drops of rain here only, but a wicked cold north wind last night, and this morning again grey of rain cloud.

(The tremor of this jet by the way, speaking of the space time continuum, comes to you from 25 years ago.)

InvisibleJack said...

Hi Tom

I've had a hectic week of travel and teaching and have only just been able to call here for the first time in days. What an oasis!

I was up all night editing a script for one of my teaching projects (had been awake and working for a solid 27 hours!) and have just emerged from a deep seven hour sleep (the most sleep I could ever possibly expect, my average is about four hours if I'm lucky).

Anyways, very grateful for the last two posts on this blog, as I'm desperately in need of the zen.

Grateful too for the John Clare and the Lawrence, but especially intrigued by the discussion on Ted Berrigan. A great regret of mine (among many regrets) is that he's a poet I never met. I've been following his work since my teens and a few years ago in Paris I picked up his Collected Poems - it's one of the best books on my shelves here and that despite the varied competition.

Going off now to make myself a mug of tea. Here's a poor smidgen from my haiku notebook, in gratitude for the blackbirds:

pinewoods solid
in the darkness

owl passes through

Jack Brae Curtingstall

Sandra (if) said...

I love your birds...and words!

TC said...


Lovely to hear from you.

I too find sleep the most elusive of companions.

But I am unemployed, you are not. I don't know how you manage it.

Thank you for the very pleasant comment.

Particularly gratifying as I have for some time regarded you as a practising master of the millennial haiku. I love your pinewoods solid, passed through by birds. And this one I copied back in November from Other Stuff:

Crown of the moon cut
with night; an owl flies a shrew
the finite acre.

Remarkable what can be fit into such a little space.

(I think of Touchstone: a great reckoning in a little room. Though of course I don't think in that case it was tight syllables that were meant.)

Indeed a touch of zen or whatever might pass as my benighted equivalent seemed called for in the wake of too many nights lately in the random danger whirlpool of the urban cauldron (see the post below, Natural Science, from earlier in the week).

Something tells me Ted B. would have enjoyed your acquaintance.

Mug after mug of tea o'nights, it's all that keeps me going.

TC said...

Sandra (if),

And I love your several blogs, having now visited them.

Was especially affected by your post on mano negligente about the discarded radio that saved you from silence after the quake. (A note has been left for you there.)

We sit on a very precarious fault here, and there have been quakes, and greater movements are awaited, so I have sympathized with your plight as well as an outsider perhaps is able.

Very grateful to your for your visit, your comments, and all your work.



Another robin this morning, saw some red winged blackbirds on the road yesterday near the Tomales Point trailhead (in Point Reyes) -- what an amazing place, the look across the bay from spine of ridge toward Mt St. Helena, rain down from clouds over there, herd of Tule Elk walking around, feeding, almost close enough to touch. . . .

TC said...


This hiker says she saw a herd of fifty elk the last time out on that trail.

(Her trail photos are there too.)

human being said...

is this a bird's p.o.v.?

you can see deep...

aditya said...

I love it when you let your words wander and waver in all the directions for the reader.

atrophy dream

is a brilliant start to the poem. It could mean so much ....

TC said...

"is this a bird's p.o.v.?"

good question, hmmm...I suppose it could be, from a distance.

When I look at the post, I see the birds as "people".

(I have a bad habit of regarding people as animals and animals as people, though I know that the lines of demarcation between the two ought to be observed. Last night one of our cats accidentally happened upon an opossum. The cat was frightened, and ran off. The poor opossum was frightened too, and, I had the fleeting impression, somewhat embarrassed. That was my projection of course. But still...)

And yes, this one wanders and wavers, a bit like its author.

human being said...

you are more in touch with the souls... than the physical appearance...

i've always seen you as an eagle... told you before...


a poet's wanderings
the secret dance of the needle of a compass


TC said...


I like that dancing needle image. Direction-finding always feels so uncertain...

About being in touch with souls rather than physical appearances, my sense has been that as the body ages and loses its powers, necessarily the inner eye seeks correspondences beyond the physical. Dimensions we may not have known were there, gradually begin to appear. A kind of compensation perhaps.

I certainly do believe that animals have souls, though it is not easy to be in touch with them.

How wonderful it would be to be an eagle. But an old bald eagle with half its feathers gone and lacking the wing power to get very far off the ground any more, well, any soaring that remains for it would have to be in the virtual dimension.

(Perhaps things were ever so, in any case.)

Now, though, a crow: your emblem, I think, is still a pretty good fit.

human being said...

there is poem by Parviz Natel-Khanlari... in which the story of an eagle is told who feels he's getting old and goes to a crow to ask him the secrect of his long life...
he lives with the crow for one day... and notices he cannot live like him...
the eagle has been always in the deep of the sky... eating good food and fresh water... but the crow is mostly on the ground eating everything... even rotten things and foul water... he steals things and is humiliated... and hated...
the eagle says, i prefer my short but sublime life to this one... and bids farewell to the crow and disappears in the blue sky...

eagles are eagles... even when they are old... the are so majestic and respected...

no one takes a crow in the field seriously, as Sohrab Sepehri says...


you are a dear friend Tom... because you have a beautiful soul...

the funny thing is that i have been so since my childhood... i was never impressed by appearance... i couldn't even remember people by their physical appearance... perhaps that's why i'm so happy here in this virtual world... 'cause i'm in contact with the world within... the soul...

but i know people like to see the real me... and they are bothered by my being not palpable...
but my mask is not a cover-up... this is the true me...
and if i lived in another country i could wrie under my own real name...

crows are so talkative... you know that...
especially when they talk to eagles...

human being said...