Storms over Biddeford to the north
dominate the sky,
paint drama on the still ebb tide
waters of Back Creek
where it meets the Mousam.
I hear the thunder
Like watching an army of angels
marching across the landscape
on its way out to sea.
Here at the top of the food chain
it is so easy to forget
that for most creatures
so many waking moments
are eaten up by getting and eating
(or avoiding being eaten).
Gulls do not have poetry
(and certainly there are no crab sonnets)
but I can imagine lions making verse
as they loll about beneath acacia trees,
and we have heard the recorded songs of whales.
It requires leisure,
respite from the struggle,
to turn the mind to hunting images and words.
Time to celebrate life
beyond the living of it,
the getting and the eating
and the avoiding being eaten.
“I’m in love with a big blue frog…”
as Mary (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) sang.
I think it was a song about inter-racial love,
segregation and discrimination…so sixties!
But I never knew there were such things as
actual blue frogs…
(segregation and discrimination,
as a survivor of the sixties,
I am all too aware of)
One in a million. A mutation.
Sitting by a pond in Kennebunk!
So you see. Anything is possible.
Even a final end of discrimination.
in a great celebration of difference
as bold and unlikely (and as beautiful)
as a blue frog in Kennebunk.
Ebony Jewelwings are
what fairy Queens
ride (when they ride
by little forest brooks
and lively falling streams
with rock and song.)
I dare you to prove otherwise!
The Wood Lily
at least in Southern Maine
is a solitary flower.
You might find them in a loose cluster,
spread over 25 square yards,
but mostly they grow one by one…
one here like a burning brand in the tall grass
or at the roots of the pines,
and another there like a distillation of a week of sunsets
at the edge of the pond.
It is rare to find a bouquet of them growing close,
a bright bonfire, so intense it lights the day,
and lifts you right out of any semblance of ordinary…
Our local Swallowtail is the Tiger,
and everyone here calls the common orange day lily
Tiger Lily (though it isn’t)
so, close enough, “Tiger in the Tiger Lily.”
And certainly exotic enough
to justify the name.
Such an outrageous play of color,
form, and texture,
as though the two
were arm wrestling
for the beauty crown!
Part of me says,
get a room already,
or a hollow stump,
or some more private place
than the middle of a busy trail…
part of me would avert my eyes
and slide on by,
as I would teenagers on a bus
but part of me thinks
“Here is nature in the raw
as we seldom see it…
and such a photo op!”
You can see which side won.
The Swallowtail lites in the top
most branches of the minature
apple tree in our yard
and hangs, exotic fruit,
early ripened. If I reach to pick
the Swallowtail will be off,
making its erratic way
to its next perch, fluttering,
always just beyond my fingertips.
Only the heart is equipped,
is agile enough,
to pick such fruit.
In the new grain fields of the modern
intensive agricultural of Austria and Hungary,
red poppies still surface: waves and pools,
streams and puddles, of bright poppie color,
undefeatable, bold against the green and gold,
just as they always have, time out of time…
as though the earth is bleeding for the gentle touch
of the old ways: the horse plow
and the scythes and sheaves of harvest…
for the absent birds, the hare and roe,
pushed to the edges by these
monocultured, manicured factories of grain,
factories of gain.
And there is a part of me
(the better part I think)
that bleeds with the poppies.