Earthrise, December 1968, Image by Apollo 8

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

On the First Wave of Spring

Athens, Georgia
March 28, 2018

You may sense a strange lightness
inside your bones. Unseen, life
is rising. Unheard, earth hums.

And so it comes,
the imperceptible turn
when winter tips to early spring.

First it stirs.
It seeps through roots.
It creeps on marbled salamander feet.

It emerges from burrows,
arises from mud,
ascends into shifting winds.

It slithers onto shallow rocks,
peers from gaps in mossy logs,
rustles under leaf litter.

It chitters from trees,
trills from swamps,
and peeps from vernal pools.

It shivers, and saucer magnolias bloom,
pears and cherries wear blossoms of snow,
and redbuds slip into lavender lace.

It smiles, and forsythia shine,
each bush a burst of golden stars
in a firmament of baby green leaves.

It laughs, and daffodils dance again.
They sway to the slipstreams of speeding cars
and swirl in the cleft of exit ramps.

And in the rhythms of wind and light

across the parks and small-town squares –
the breath of Earth, the dance of life.

American toads in wetland, February 16, 2018:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Myrtle Warblers

Athens, Georgia
March 8, 2018

You may call them butter butts
(they are not diminished). Perhaps
you caught an idle glimpse

looking out from the kitchen sink
as the spring wave worked north.
They go about their business

skimming insects from the surfaces
of rivers, gleaning from leaves,
stealing from spiderwebs,

warbling the northern woods in summer.
They flit through conifer stands
flashing butter yellow rump,

then flood the continent in fall
from the great blue-green spruce
down ancestral flyways.

In the dearth of winter they settle
into Southern scrub, Eastern woods,
and mountain hollows

to digest the wax from myrtle berries.
Someone must – it’s a niche,
and who’s to say a minor role?

For there is a final dignity to it all,
a calling in the cogs and cycles,
the bones and blood of Gaia.

Image by D. Gordon E. Robertson -
Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,