"Conversations with a Carolina Wren" - Eugene C. Bianchi


"Conversations with a Carolina Wren" - Eugene C. Bianchi

“Poems spring up like the edge of driftwood...
along the beach, wanting! They derive from a slow
and powerful root that we cannot see.
Stop the words now. Open the window
in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.”

Let nature be my Ouija board,
my vast parlor for a séance,
as I press buttons to raise garage doors,
while Lady Wren speeds out of her nest
at the work bench to wait for me
on a nearby garden rail.

She’s shy and bold with her piercing
call: “Teakettle, Teakettle,”
looking at me the whole time.
“Was I late this morning, Dear Friend?”
She dances on the metal, answers
with softer double “Teakettle.”

“Will you vote for the Tea Party Darling?”
Her head bobs this way and that,
then a melancholy “Teakettle,”
as she shoots off for breakfast,
leaving a white stain on the railing.
After all, she has squatted here for years,
it’s the inevitability of influence.

Then up the driveway for the NYTimes,
that temple of Enlightenment,
with crows squawking and fussing overhead,
loud friends of the household who don’t dive bomb me.
Watch out if you cross them with their long memories.

Am I slipping in my eighties?
It’s one thing to seek deep purring
treatments from my muse and “curandero”
Siamese Max, like Rumi opening my chest,
but chatting with a freeloading wren?

It gets worse as I walk weakened hornets,
even roaches in tissue to the garden for a second chance.
Daddy Long Legs are easy to save, seeming
to bless me at the door and tip their hats.
Not so easy with three lost ladybugs
at my computer on their way to Canterbury.
Turn off the alarm, go into the cold in slippers.

Does this part time job come with aging,
keeper of insects and wandering birds?

[Photo by David Noah]

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