Heroes Wetland 3

You and Me Beside Heroes Wetland


This poem is still in process, unfinished


  Walking Together Around Heroes Wetland

I will take you for a walk around one of the ponds at Heroes. I am interested in the poetry of science, or rather the attitude of observation that precedes formal science. mix poetry and prose together because that is more of less how I think. It is my way of meditating on something. So what follows is a series of poems and prose entries that meditate on different aspects of Heroes Wetland

1. Invitation

I've waited for you along time.
I'm glad you've come.
Come then, if you have come this far,
come a little further
if you are my friend,
a companion of my cautious manner
and the hesitant respect with which I enter into
this marvelous world of many beings.
Come out with me,
---beyond the alien walls of human knowledge---
to where a gentle rainbow has fallen over the forest
in a mist of spring color.
Delicate spring buds hued pink and lilac
and a yellow innocence
begins the world all over again
in a youthful transience of suffused splendor.
The rainbow that has fallen over the land
turns my mind many-colored
as if the air itself became a prism of my thoughts.

I celebrate the taste of this air
the touch of this delicate sun upon my tongue
and the feel of my skin alive in such a world
newborn each moment,
not knowing how long I might live
but living what is left to me in thanks
for such a place as this.

Come with me then,
friend of all my close friends in this place of Heroes
that no one but you and I recognize.
Come to this place where every season is a day
and all days
meet in the community of seasons.
I celebrate their selves,
and sing the song of the others
|and as Walt Whitman said:
 'what they assume you shall assume'.

Come up this path and  see,
there, where sunlight through maple leaves
hanging over the pond turns the water orange
and in the luminous orange
 water plants glow green
and a Bull Frog sits basking,
liquid skin,
its yellow throat about ready to sing,
ballooning his own song of thanks.
And there is where the muskrat's babies
nuzzle eachother and roll over in a little water skirmish
and their mother is swimming back to the den
in the pond bank
and  she parts the gold waters with her nose
like a yellow comet clefting water behind her
in gold waves on the bend of a blue mirror.
Water drops on her back
shimmer diamonds in her auburn hair.

Muskrat and babies

And look, just beyond the Muskie and Frog, up the path,
a Woodchuck looks at us out of his hole,
under the fallen log, he's a Badger or Marmot
of the eastern fields and forest---
a low, grey partner of the  of earth,
clover lover, and he retreats into the shadow
of his burrowed home. There is so much to be said
for all the ground dwellers, Prairie Dogs, Beaver,
Ground Squirrels and Voles,
Moles  Chipmunks and Fox dens.
There is intimate virtue in the sheltering safety
of cool, brown, earthen lodges.
Humans imitated these houses with
Wickiup, Typee,
Woodland Longhouses
earthen houses and the forest canopy
covering ones head from the rains and winter storms
This whole North American continent
is mothered and breast-fed by the Beaver.
The Beaver is the mother of all wetlands
the mother of Heroes.

A beaver has gnawed at the base of some trees at one of the ponds at Heroes but has not moved in to build a lodge. One of the ponds at Heroes has a lodge.
But I've not told anyone about it,  since it is likely to be vandalized or destroyed. Once I had a dream about Beavers where I approached a huge beaver and entered its mouth. Its tongue had a number of breasts on it and I sucked sweet milk from the breasts. Hard to explain this dream.  A strange dream that has a truth in it. Beavers
are mothers of wetlands,  so I was drinking the milk of wetlands, drinking the milk of the mother of the American continent.

2. The Leaves of the Multicolored Tree

 Heroes taught me much about leaves. I stood there looking at the leaves for hours some days. What amazing things, as eyelids are amazing, or ears, as hands are amazing.  here is a poem about the Multicolored Tree and its leaves:

Step over the Woodchuck's fallen log and look
at the green Moss carpet with a few orange leaves on it
The Moss covers  the roots of this Maple Tree
clutching to the pond bank, holding the bank up.
I call this tree the Multi-Colored Tree,
because of all the trees at Heroes
it has a leaf of every color in the spectrum.
It is a candelabra of many colors,
a tree on fire with rainbows---
each leaf has a light in it, a leaf-light,
a leaf-light of autumn
each leaf lit and glowing in its own green, red, yellow
as if they did not need the sun---
but they do need the sun---
leaves are sun-hands---
and each leaf holds the sun
like a page of water in a book of light
like yellow and red mirrors
like palms of the hand
held near a fire, holding  living warmth.
Its leaves are the hands and eyes of the tree
which feel seeingly
into the sunlit expanses of the winds of space.


If my heart could have one expression
I would want it to be this tree--
leafing out in joyous colors
all the colors spreading forth
from within the tree, outward
like a fan of hope
rainbowed against the sky and
reflected in the mirror of the pond.
Imagine the orange, red and yellow
carpeting of leaves, inches thick
on the forest floor,
and then imagine, 500 years ago,
a Native American woman,
nearly nine months pregnant,
walks through the forest and stops.
She looks at the beauty of the leaves
and holds her large belly in both hands
and she smiles.
She thinks of the life she will bring into the world.
She understands what leaves are
and the meaning of the Multicolored Tree.

I study these leaves every year---
leaf-light in copper mirrors,
green-mica of burnished bronze,
wafting breezes of yellow silk,
pages of the dawn sky.
Imagine eating light as food---
your skin all over your body
a mouth for drinking light.
Leaf- veins branching with liquid hands
holding a wind full of fluttering sun.
Green Leaves breathing orange light.
Touch one leaf to your cheek
and feel the glistening coolness--
a transparent sheet of green music---
a Leaf-Harp played by watery fingers---
leaf-veils lifting in the dawn air,
silver strings glistening with drops of twilight.
All these leaves, like weightless seashells
blossoming into fans, cupping the multicolored air
and holding the whole tree up high as it can reach,
to touch soil to the sky
and offer to the world around
the resplendent rainbow of its rustling.
It is a tree of colored kites flying
a tree full of the spectrum of a thousand birds.
This Multicolored Tree is a life that can sing
 the joyous song of the mystery of being
without making a sound.

The Multicolored Tree


3. Beings of a Free Earth:  the Trees of  Heroes

The Multicolored tree is not a symbol of anything, and certainly not an allusion to the fictional "tree of life". All trees are about life, but they are not symbols of it to be appropriated by a religion or a people. No one owns trees. Human need to unlearn this habit of claiming ownership of living beings. Trees are beings of a free earth. The Multicolored tree that I watched and reverenced every year at Heroes is an individual tree, a unique being. Hereos taught me much about this tree.

Someday I would like to tell the story of all the important
trees in my life, and paint the history of the wonder of leaves.
There is a whole forest of such memories at Heroes.
Come, stand with me here
on the shore of the pond at Heroes Wetland.
Look at your hand, at my hand---
all those skin colors and lines of feeling and flesh---
and now look at the incised bark of this tree,
this old maple tree.
Touch the tree with our hands---
 this is the skin of our sharing
the skin of a world we touch
and it touches back.
Touch this world with your eyes
as if you felt it with a loving hand.

Look at all the trees around Heroes pond
all the Sycamores, white-fingered giants
and those  huge Cottonwoods,
like Sundancers reaching up in permanent rapture---
and the Shagbark Hickory,
home to the those night-birds, the bats,
who rest under their bark.
Imagine what that Oak tree knows,
 this wizened sage that holds
light so delicately in its yearning branches.
Every tree is a rare being of solid stillness
leaning into the wind and absorbing sunlight
in a green pregnancy.
Imagine its daily life of dark, wet,  seeking roots
and twigs with elbows and finger joints
that touch feelingly the clouds.
Trees are possessor the roots of liberty,
like hands that hold the winds of freedom.
They are beings of an free earth
beings of an earth freed
from the possessive hands of men.

4.Song of the Bees
Come and walk with me and open your eyes:
the readiness of seeing depends
on the quality of your being.
I celebrate their selves,
and sing the song of the others
and what they assume we shall assume.
Try to look with a dragonflies eyes,  or
to see the vivid iridescence of seductive flowers
as clearly as visionary Bees.
Imagine the hallucinated meadows
glowing in ultra-violet purples and the fire-yellows
and red-auroras of spectral flowers---
the secret signs of flowers
that bees see as brilliant corollas,
calixes that light up jewels in the darkened green.
Bees  transform these summer-swollen
bursts of golden pollen
into the amber-nectar of sun-sweet honey.

What genius these flowers have, that offer the allure
of their sex in such vivid colors.
They are outside the spectrum visible to humans.
What minds these flowers have,
that know to flash colors brighter than human eyes.
I  try my best to see flowers with bees eyes
though I know my vision is pale compared to theirs.
But I honor their abilities
and share the love that bees share
for these spectral blossoms.
I begin  to understand why bees
get excited in wildflower fields
and return to the hive to dance
a dance of joyful sisters,
sharing their spellbound knowledge of the
spangled magic of the meadows.

5. Birds, Buttonbush and Wooducks at Heroes

Look up there in the Scotch Pine,
its bark scratched with the orange of ancient sap
a White Breasted Nuthatch climbs down the tree trunk
and looks at us with a hesitant eye.
And in the Red Pine opposite,
 hanging way up on a red pinecone,
 the Red Breasted Nuthatch hangs upside down,
drinking pine-sap perhaps,
or is it looking for seeds the Red Squirrels didn't get last fall?
Both these birds can walk head down a tree trunk
an amazing feat, when one thinks about it,
 almost defying gravity with a deft control
of their perfect feet.

And there..., that's the bird they call the Brown Creeper.
You can't see it because from the back its feathers
 blend perfectly with the tree bark
 of the Black Cherry tree it sits on, resting.
 It climbs strait up trees, looking for bugs to eat
and when it gets to the top it flies down
to the next tree and begins its upward climb again.
----Birds are brothers and sisters of trees,
or maybe the winged children of trees
and even those that have left the trees
 still have something of the sky in them,
like the Ostrich, which flies over the Veldt
on winged feet.----
The Black Cherry bark is scalloped dark mica,
flakes of mollusks shaped to a tree trunk.
And up again goes the Brown Creeper,
like a mouse up an attic rafter
his white belly visible from the side
like an arborealvg  Field Mouse.

If you look out into the middle the pond
there is  one of many Buttonbushes.
I love this bush---
a shrub that grows in water-- and named
for the hard brown seed-spheres
that hang on the bush all winter,
snowflakes pile  into  little towers on them,
waiting for the snow to melt.
In Spring, its flowers are white, radiating globes,
 like Radiolaria,
miniature planets with stamens like sunrays
and if you look close, on these little flower-suns
emerald green Flies, Yellow Jackets, Sulphur
and Painted Lady Butterflies hover and alight and drink nectar.
Stained-glass light filters through the butterflies wings
as it drinks the honey of a flowering sun-burst.

And if you look up on the right side of the bush, up near the top,
 a Red Wing Blackbird with red satin shoulders
sings to his mate who nests in the cattails further beyond.
Look how the gentle green blade of the cattail
leans into the breeze
like the the eyebrow of a gazelle.
The Blackbirds nest is deep down in the cattail bed, woven of
dried cattails, the color of dried corn stalks
pink/grey babies squirm with closed eyes.
And look into the shadows where the fallen log,
below the Buttonbush, disappears into the bush.
There is a family of Woodducks
all in a line resting and preening on the log
four ducklings and their mother,
and their father across the pond with another male.
Their heads like dust of emeralds
 brushed on blue velvet
and the eye of reddest sunrise
and the sides of their bodies
the color of grasses in July
as they turn from green to ochre.
They nest in cavities in the tall trees nearby
and every year there are at least twenty birds.
The females are good mothers
and keep their little ones from Hawks
 and swim in a wavy line to avoid the Snapping Turtles,
 though one year
a mother was taken by the Fox
and I found a few of her iridescent blue wing feathers
 in the woods
 near where the deer like to sleep hot afternoons
under the deepening shade of high cottonwoods.
It was near the place where the Mink
 runs between the river and the ponds and
where  the Puffballs grow as big as a white pumpkins,
 and when I touch them a brownish green mist of spores
 settles in a cloud over last years dead leaves.
The Woodduck died where the Hermit Thrushes
stay a few days in the spring, because Hermits also love the tall trees.
The Woodduck mother died in good company
among all the beings of the pond where she was born.
But her ducklings cried out for her for days
and were in in some danger
and though I am careful how I interfere with animal lives,
 I interfered one day to save her babies from a Red Tail Hawk,
which sat above them in a tree, about to eat one.
The Next year her babies returned to heroes on the migration.
The lived to start new nests

detail of Water into Air
(Woodducks and Mallards of Heroes)

6. The Blue Heron People

There is the Blue Heron, which comes from another pond,
close by, where there are over a hundred Blue Herons nests,
high up in sycamores and their ancient voices, humming kwawks,
can be heard in the distance.
The Blue Heron spends most of its life in trees
close to the sky and in water
and its body expresses the elements it loves.
They are huge birds, with wings that hold gallons
of ancient air, liquid blue bodies, long and sleek necks,
--- an eye the yellow of a prehistoric sky---
and their feet are knarled sticks to hold crooked branches.
It voice recalls Archaeopteryx,
the ancient bird of 150 million years ago
the questioning airborn ‘kaaaawllk"
of the primal wetlands. They nest in large colonies, rookeries
---a Heron culture, a Heron Pueblo, a Heron city--
hundreds of strange birds, blue beings,
all standing tall on large stick nests
and the pumping sound of their mating calls
sounds like a "dreamtime" song that is neither
about dreams or time, but rather is real
and negates time.
The Male Heron flaps its wings  jumps up
 on the back of the female
and stands on it, bird stacked above bird, and they mate.
And the male goes and gets her a stick
which he gives to her as sweetly as a shy flower
and she places it in the nest.
The Blue Heron has a culture
equal to the Pueblo, Lakota or Yanomamo
a culture  more than equal in its right to be
than Tokyo or Salt Lake City.


Wetland:  Monarch, Milkweed and Blue Heron

7. Song of the Others: Being Part of It

This is how it is at Heroes.
 Every place calls forth memories of the lives
 of individuals in this wonderful community of beings.
 The Woodducks swim among the Canada Geese
 who nest on some of the logs in the wetland
and among the Geese are other ducks,
 Blue and Green Wing Teals, Mallards, Bufflehead and Hooded Mergansers.

Looking at the lovely orange feet of the Green Heron
stalking the logs behind the Geese, and that crimson chest
and the delicate yellow fringed blue-green wing feathers,
and that yellow eye so still, so breathless
that the bird becomes a statue of perfect awareness.
and as we walk the path, a frog jumps out at our feet, and the Green Heron has seen it and is on it.
The bird knows me and has used me as a foil to catch frogs.
The Rascal !

A Pied Billed Grebe comes and goes,
diving underwater and resurfacing further away.

The Painted Turtles, one sitting half on top of another,
 watch the flirtatious underwater dance
 of a pair of huge and forbidding Snapping Turtles
a head emerges here and a foot or shell there
and then underwater they go......

Vultures sail over the wetland in casual elegance,
dipping their wings on a peaceful wind.

The not-so-Solitary Sandpiper walks carefully on another log
looking for bugs in his own reflection
bobbing on his delicate legs
and there is the female Sandpiper calling him coyly
and he chases her with a whining cry and spread wings flashing
that show off his handsome breast
and the star-like markings on his back
like dew drops on tree bark.

Determined Kingfishers in a rattling streak
of slate-blue and white,
fly over the wetland and dive,
splashing water-crystals---
comes up with a silver minnow.
Somehow the bird can dive into
and take off from the water like a flying fish.
How do they do that?
Like Osprey and Pelicans, who do it too.

Heroes is a floodplain wetland next to a river
and the Kingfishers nest in holes
 just above the flood line of the river-bank
and they dig their holes many feet into the bank,
you can see where there feet have scratched ruts
in the threshold of the nest-hole
clambering in and out of the entrance so many times.
 They raise babies in a nest made of fish bones
deep inside the river bank.
Strange practice, like the Whale Bone Tepees of some Northern
Canadian tribes or an Elephant graveyard.
But that is their way,
 just as it is their way to be especially wary of humans.
I have grown to have a deep respect
for this Crested-headed and intelligent river-bird.
They have a white dot near their eye
which makes their eyes look huge from a distance.
and indeed, if the River were to have eyes
it is the human-wary eye of the Kingfisher
that the crooked River looks out of.
The river's eyes look from the Kingfisher
and hide from you beyond the river-bend,
 with good reasons for little trust.



Heroes shines with winter auroras
twilight glowing on blue snow---
If only I could learn to sing the song of how the sun
lays down upon snow.
the snow glistening like a seeds of rainbows
jewels sown in the powdered crystals---
so much life even in winter--
where Juncos and Tufted Titmice
collect seeds under logs
and keep out of the cold wind.

Fox at Heroes

And there is where the Fox sits in the snow ---
I love Foxes for their beauty and
 wry and playful humor
----their family dispositions---
and even their tracks in the snow display
a certain wondering intelligence
and playful purpose.



Spring Thaw
(the river near Heroes in winter)


This is how it is at Heroes
so many beings intermeshed----
and being after being  is related---
a place conditioned by rainbows
where luminous trees
 lift themselves up out of the fog
and look there, springtime,
and the Trout Lilies,
with leaves like the dappled sides of trout---
better called Fawn Lilies---
like dappled fawns in twilight
falling cherry petals drifting down
to rest on the orange fur of the coats---
The Fawn Lilies nod their delicate yellow heads
towards the Beech leaf covered ground,
and the Virginia Bluebells are blooming powdered blue
and the Wild Hyacinth seems
a candle made of lilac and yellow stars---
a little tree made of spring colored snowflakes
and Jack in the Pulpit will have
globular clusters of red berries before long
and the Palm Warblers are seeking between the flowers
alert and aware, in the brightening light,
that this is a world worth living in.

Palm Warbler

I sing the song of the others
 and what they assume is a world worth living in
and they are bright with the beauty of it.
Unashamed of their love of life.
No one is left out,
and we all are related
and with minimal harm,
all live and let live
in a unity of differences
humans have yet to comprehend or imitate.
I celebrate their selves, and sing the song of the others
and what they assume we shall assume.

Come with me then, into a world of wonders
beyond human-centeredness,
into the leafy depths of your own heart
where stars know the silence of birds
and the human-animal rejoins the community of beings
and begins to see
 with the clear eyes of fish
with the seagull's vision of the dawn sky
looking out from our eyes
and all the accepting beings of the world
looking into me and you..
Come under the comfort of the Chameleon sky
into the calm of the colors of the space
 around your eyes.
Let's give up shame and self-consciousness.
Come further with me up the path.
Over there is the place I call Hero's Peninsula,
where the baby Oriole I called Hero was born,
(every bird's nest is the Place of Emergence
the origin of the world)
and over there is another Oriole's nest
30 feet above the Red Dragonfly that rests on a branch.
Baby birds begin taking over the world.
Beyond the Dragonfly the Milkweed is blooming
and a Tiger Swallowtail and Monarch Butterfly
are probing the delicate pink flowers.

Come under the greening leaves
 as they turn yellow to crimson
and watch and watch
 until your mind becomes part of it
---part of the air you are breathing
part of the colors around your eyes
and the hint of mint on the wind
and the way birds wings arch
as they lift up the sky into a blinding sun.
Come into these reflections of water
turning twilight into amber
drifting on a current like lazy ducks--
lost and happy in the silver mirror of space---
swimming towards starlight on the river.
If you could recall the cry of the seagull
was the longing of your own blood
and the long-swimming whale
and the thoughtful elephant
were close relations beneath your skin---
 relations of your inaudible yearnings and
mammalian wanderings----
and the buffalo's hoof and heart beats
in your own breast ---
just as when you were a boy or girl
and ran through the long grasses,
and thought you were a Bison or a Wild Horse
and the little birds high in the trees were
fond as warm wishes you shared
with ones that you loved---
and the trees you climbed were extensions of your limbs
and  grasses were hairs on your head---
if you can recall these things and
the rainbow that resonates
with the hope of water ,
then maybe now you can see that
despite all the differences between you
and all the animals, trees and birds
and the myriad ways that they are superior to you
your own skin is part of the skin of the world---
Heroes Wetland looks through you
and your own eyes are Heroes Wetland
----your own eyes are the Herons
flying to their nests of sticks,
your own eyes are the flying swallows
dipping over the mirror of the pond
and your own eyes hold those clouds
reflected where the water plants
are drinking sunshine
glistening in the dew wet memory
of morning's golden light.
This is their world and your world too
and no one shut you out of it
and when you left it, you left yourself
 you left your relation to other beings
and humans who claim superiority to nature
end in harming everything that lives.


After the Rain
(Heroes Wetland: Wood Ducks, Blue Heron and Red Headed Woodpeckers)

8.Song of Sunlit Soil

Come back, then,
into the forest,
past where the Red headed woodpeckers
fly to their nesting tree,
past the Flycatcher who sits on a branch
and now sallies forth to catch a bug in mid air
and lands back on the same branch.
Do not "capture" the Flycatcher
 with a cage in your eyes
or "take" or "shoot" its picture
 with the mind of a camera-gun.
Watch and record it in your heart
the equal of the yes and voice of your friends
as if it were your own family.
If  birds are free in your heart
you will never put any being in a cage
The Flycatcher is not a "Creature"
created for you to be its overlord and "steward"
It is a wild being with as much right
 to an independent existence as you.

Look, there is the Carolina Wren
 hiding under the Sycamore trunk
probing with his curved beak in the leaves, nervous,
definitive in his babbling chatter,
his breast the color of autumn corn
his back as intricate as a Turkomen carpet
earthen design crystalline and symmetric,
ochre and diamonds in liver-rust----
and the song of this Wren
more penetrating than garlic or mint leaves
a little explosion of sound like
a train whitseling through a tea kettle
a sound that announces arrival,
 and domgatically asserts "I exist".
Sometimes I see here the tiny Winter Wren,
 like a child's teacup of feathers
or the House and Marsh Wren.
All these Wrens dance a low dance,
bobbing up and down, compact, furtive,
 looking, seeking, scolding you  and
darting into bushes when you get too close---
a brown bubbling fire of chatter in the shrubs.
These are the singers of the secrets of the thicket.
Theirs is the intimacy of  a life of flying near the ground.
They are the Loam Warblers, gleaners of leafy soils
the earth-birds.

Look down at the ground, see yourself, this world
from the perspective of Wrens.
Look, here, at the Black Walnut tree,
its bark furrowed and nearly purple
and on the ground below it, Black Walnuts
green at first, but then yellowing to dyed ink-black
crumbled carbon.
Come down to the ground with me.
This is where I layed down for weeks
 to study  leaves and soil
from the angles seen by Wooly Bear catepillars
down on the ground with Pine needles and purple earth.
Come Down where the Blue Racer snake
 feels his blue belly scale the length
 of autumn leaves along his body.
Come down to where the Toad hops safely away
 from the path of the snake.
Look at the Toads body, encrsusted with landscapes
a geogrpahy of hills and lava beds,
star studded wetlands, fecund bogs---
all pictured in their soft skin---
as delicate as the raindrop's surface,
a silken eyelid permeable to the wheather .

Come closer to the earth
Feel the crumbling leaves on your face
an ancient library of decayed books
ancient stories of forgotten blossoms, hot-house summers,
distant winds and bird duets,
all powdering now into the unwritten silt of the leafy soil.
Come down to the purple, black and brown language of the future
---- you who think standing on two legs is a virtue.
Your high head has been too long divorced
and distant from the earth.
Come down to the origins, to the tangled roots on the
edge of the pond, where the Blue Jays, two or three birds at a time
 gathers nest-roots, to strengthen the house for their babies.
They are not too proud or arrogant to nuzzle their blue heads into
the ochre soil.

There is a little forest of mushrooms
hiding under the leaves. One mushroom called "Yellow Patches"
a fleshy beehive swollen with sunlight and snow-clouds.
There is "Indian Pipe" under the Hemlocks
a stange, ghostly plant, delicate as  coral
and sensitive as an albino:
a glass pipe flowering a tiny jellyfish blossom.
And there along the fallen log is a colony of 'False"
Turkey Tail
a lovely fungi that does indeed look like a
Turkey tail at mating time.
Turkey feathers are irridescent and have tints of copper-green and bronze
turquoise and orange.
When the fTurkey tail stands up
a spreading incandescent fan, metalic hued and sexual,
and the females gather around.

Come down to these intimate heights
where world and your skin breathe together
and the earth is part of your feet and hands
Come to where the Salamanders walk
 to their breeding grounds
and the acorn holds the hope of the globe
and the Gold Crowned Kinglet walks on slender legs
through yellow leaves bright viened with
rivers of red and green,
as mysterious as maps of ancient Amazon Basins.
Come down to the level of green Lichens growing on falling twigs
malachite encrusted branches, flakes of blue-green mica
gathered by Hummingbirds and Blue Grey Gnatcachers
and woven with spider webs and saliva into nests
a little bigger than a blue thimble
on which the Hummer sits
nurturing gossomer promises.

Chipmunk's World

Come down to the level of Chipmunk eyes---
there, under the log, she is looking at us
out from the hole that leads to her tunnels
where the family sleeps in the winter
curled into still leaf and hair lined cavities.
She has a acorn in her mouth and leaps
 through the fall leaves like a Cougar,
like a Fox leaps in the snow.
Look at her hands, like Beaver hands
like Squirrel hands, like my hands and your hands
that can hold and feel the marvel of the shapes of things.
I wish I could tell the tales of all these hands,
  the tale of the tails, the way they all live lives
full of light and care,
as vlauable tot hem as our lives are to us

Squirrel Tail in Sunlight


The Squirrels and Chipmunks are yelling at us, scolding.
Their babes must be nearby.
 Let us get up off the ground
 and leave them to their day.

9. Little Bird Lane

Come with me around the pond,
towards the river
We call the area between the river and the wetland
Little Bird Lane,


 River-Light in Spring

 (this is a view of the river from Heroes Wetland--- the Wetland is adjacent to the River , to the left in this painting.  But Heroes Wetland, which I usually called, simply "Heroes", was this entire area, the river, the marshes, and all the forested area and meadows around them. This painting, pictures wild Cherry Blossoms, a female Redbird, a Canada Geese family and Deer---

every year beginning in April, the birds that migrate from
central and south America
follow the rivers north and wind their way from tree to tree
sunrise to sunrise, rain to rain
nuzzling their beaks between blossoming tree buds
a river of Warblers, Redstarts and Yellow warblers
Black-throated Green and Blue-wing,
Palm and Bay Breasted, the Northern waterthrush and the Hermit Thrush
some mornings there seemed to be birds everywhere I turn,
 birds a on every branch.headed for Canada
or staying at Heroes
thousand of birds, Kinglets and Black and White Warlbers
Veery and Chestnut sided Warblers.
there is so much wonder in their excited traveling
their communal cries and songs in the morning light,
high in the trees the blurr and flutter of bursting wings
reflect the shimmer of sun's, flash of flame,
the action of their thoughts.
These birds express the joy of being
the happiness of continents
the resplendent beauty of the inward-living nature
of our lovely earth.



( for
Miles Reed)


One sweet spring morning the color of honey

Down by the river of silver blue light

I saw the birds of the world traveling together

flying home to the golden lands


One sweet morning the color of honey

I heard them flying out of golden dawn

even the littlest trees had birds in them

even the littlest trees were quivering


Down by the river of silver blue light

every tree was a candle of singing birds

and every bird was a flame of singing light

and every light was a bird moving north


I saw all the birds of the world traveling together
a rainbow of feathered beings flying over my head.

Redstarts and Yellow-throats, Orioles, Thrushes

Scarlet Tanagers and Cerulean Warblers



all were flying home to the golden lands,

headed for the place of nests and new life
in the dawn light sparkling with ceaseless wonders
and me watching the river of birds

feeling in their free and shimmering wings
the meaning of living.
I too was flying home in my heart



One sweet spring morning the color of honey

Down by the river of silver blue light

I saw the birds of the world traveling together

flying home to the golden lands




Yellow Warbler and Heroes Wetland
( Pictured in this painting are some of the Canada Geese
 of Heroes Wetland,
a muskrat and her babies, Blue Wing Teal, a kind of Duck
as weall as a Heron
a Red Headed Woodpecker and a Snapping Turtle)


I have brought you to the Multicolored Tree
and into the visions of Bees and Kingfishers
I brought you into the intimacy of leaves
and the dappled brilliance of the warbling light.
There are so many more stories to tell you about Heroes
but it is impossible to tell about them all now.
How will I ever tell all you the wonders
or  express the depth of my thankfulness to this place?

I will tell you all that I love and know.
For now,
 thank you for coming with me this far.
Heroes is a threatened place where
threatened beings live
and out of  fear for their existence
I celebrate their selves, and sing the song of the others
and the beauty that they assume, may we assume.

 Heroes Wetland is not one pond but several. I drew some maps of these ponds. Here is a map of nesting sites, real or possible, that i observed around the pond in 1999.

As you can see some of the nests failed, some did not. Some I suspected were nests of a certain bird but I hadn't confirmed that with repeated viewings. As you can see it was an extremely active area for birds. In other months and other years I found other nests.
     In any case below



Copyright © 2005 Mark Koslow. All Rights Reserved.