Sorry, You’re Not Exactly My Type

I’m strolling by an old oak, and as I approach am hearing a fantastic avian aria. I expect that, as usual, that little singer will fall suddenly silent when he senses my approach. Bet when I walk up to the low branch where he sits, on he goes.

There sits a feathered dandy, a handsome and hale male of the mockingbird persuasion, and as I stop to admire his good looks and impressive vocal repertoire, he looks me right in the eye and goes on singing. I whistle and chirrup and warble in as close an imitation of his excellence as I can manage, because it seems only polite to respond in kind, yet I feel not only inferior in my birdcalls but just a little sorry I’m not ‘available,’ let alone the right species for him. Ah, the biological imperative!

I can only assume that such a fine specimen of mockingbird-kind will find no shortage of applicants for the position of his tweet-heart. A creature so elegant, tuneful, and confident could never remain unnoticed by any ladies of his kind, and surely only a true birdbrain would mock his efforts.

All I know is that I couldn’t help whistling as I walked on, myself.Digital illo: Mr. Mockingbird


photoOn the Hour

I hear a distant clamoring, that clear and golden hammering,

the calling so enamoring me of this hour of day,

That chorus of the chiming bells change-ringing, as their music swells

until no other parallels the news they swing to say,photo‘Til every other sound should cease as swiftly as the bells increase,

work stop, hopes rise, hearts fill with peace; the ringing calls that soon

The echo of its chimes will fall where it sang out from wall to wall

in waves of life over us all to tell us it is noon–photoNo wonder, in this ringing sphere of tonal loveliness I hear,

I sense a sweetness drawing near and beckoning to me

To join the clangor of the song, to strike at every chime and gong

and bell, that each must sing along and set the midday free–photoRing every bronze and silver note, ring brass and gold, and keep afloat

all of earth’s joy–the antidote to death is in this tune–

Ring happiness, ring love and peace; ring out the hour of sweet release;

ring the refrain of this caprice until another noon!

Rain Dances

It dances across my imagination, rain. It is flowing and musical and magical and, most of all, it catalyzes cleanliness and growth that reawakens the graces of the living world in ways that very few other things can possibly do.photoIt is what I think of as the soundtrack to my dreams, rain. The softly bubbling, rippling, tuneful and prayerful sound of rain in the background, after even the slightest dry spell, is as lovely in its way as a kindly lullaby, as the warbling of some exotic winged thing in a  woodland on a magical evening, perhaps even as a gentle reminder that the creative spirit of the universe weeps both with sorrow and with joy in harmony with all her creatures.photoOn every greensward, in every park in Spring, the land smiles with contentment even while the rain still falls, when rain is in its right place. This is a gift happily awaited by all who thirst–every creature and all the sweet, sweet growing things that fill our garden world. Whether it is thought of as saving for a rainy day or being saved by a rainy day, as much as I bask in the sun at every opportunity, there will always be a part of me that relishes and desires the generous presence of a kindly rainfall.

(I’m pleased to say that it has been raining here for the last number of hours. Life is good.)

The Song Rises above All Else

When the night is long and the day after it dawns dark and grim, sing.photoWhen winter is colder than the inmost heart of death and is finally supplanted by the least promising spring, empty of graces and starved for new, green life, sing again and sing out loudly as you can.

When age and infirmity and dangers of every kind are buffeting all the lovely youth and strength they can find in this sad world into terrible dust-devils of desiccated sorrow, sing with all your heart and soul and make the most tuneful, joyful, glorious prettiness that you can float into the air, and know that your song, no matter how wholly alone it may float up, is powerful enough to rise above it all. This is the only way that any of us will rise above it all. And that we will, so long as we