Return of the warblers

This entry is part 79 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

Mayapples are coming up:
green parasols shedding
the soil as they open.

A coyote trots across the road,
looking back
over its shoulder.

Above the trembling surface
of the vernal pond,
the first warblers’ buzzy songs.

Earth Day

This entry is part 77 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

The sun comes out
in the middle of a shower,
too high for a rainbow—

unless you imagine
the bird’s-eye view:
rainbow against the ground

and off to the side,
the radiant field lines
of this magnet, Earth…

Blue-headed vireo

This entry is part 76 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

The soft notes
of a blue-headed vireo
lure me away from my desk.

Night’s dust on my glasses
turns to a veil of gauze
in the noon-time sun.

The stench of manure
wafts up from the valley.
The vireo snatches insects from the air.

Sleight-of-hand

This entry is part 75 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

A chickadee in the garden
fills its beak with thistle down
and flies off to its nest.

I take a closer look:
that’s no down, but my own white hair
from last month’s haircut.

A spring azure butterfly
lands on the blue gravel road
and disappears.

Walking onions

This entry is part 70 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

The phoebes across the road
carry beakfuls of mud
into their nest.

Planting onions,
my thumb- and fingernails harvest
black crescents.

This summer while I’m gone,
the walking onions will re-plant themselves,
head-down in the dirt.

Empty

This entry is part 69 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

Just after your departure,
I find half a hummingbird nest
and an old broken crock.

The sun comes out.
A fly circles the lip
of a purple crocus.

The kestrel hunting meadow voles
keeps returning
to the same electric line.

Lotic

This entry is part 68 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

A winter wren darts low
over the rushing stream
and unwinds its hurdy-gurdy song.

Not all water-lovers
are bouyant in the same way.
The waterthrush walks

on the bottom, tail bobbing
as if spring-loaded. We stand
dripping in the rain.

Migrants

This entry is part 66 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

The field sparrow is back—
that rising trill spilling
from a small, pink beak.

A yellow-bellied sapsucker
taps a ring of wells all around
the bole of a hickory.

You nap on the porch,
ears open to the creek and other
migrant tongues.

Rain date

This entry is part 62 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

It’s the first petrichor of spring—
that musk the soil gives off after rain,
strongest when long delayed.

So who wouldn’t choose
a day like today for dancing?
Side by side, cackling softly,

the two pileated woodpeckers
hitch their way down a tall locust tree
all the way to the ground.


For a fuller description (and pictures) of this unusual pileated behavior, see Rachel’s blog post.

Old field

This entry is part 61 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

 

Most of the goldenrods still standing
at winter’s end are topped
by the empty habitations of wasps.

Dried half-pods of milkweed
cluster three to a stalk,
a Baroque superfluity of arch and wing.

From the woods, a drumming grouse
reminds me what real wings can do—
that accelerating heartbeat.