The Elusive Wren

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today was STALK

THE WREN

I stalk him in the lilacs
and round the poplar tree,
that elusive little wren
who sings so cheerfully.

House sparrows, on the other hand,
I toss them out some seed
and they're my friends forever.
They greet me eagerly.

The little wren is patient;
he waits the morn's first light
to harvest on my doorstep
the insects fried last night.

Many’s the time I’ve tried to get a look at the wrens in our yard and only saw a fluttering and movement in the leaves. But first thing in the morning, sure enough, here’s the wren cleaning off our deck, feasting on bugs that got too close to our porch light.

Image by Naturelady from Pixabay.

Spiralling Thoughts

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is COIL.

Which of course calls to mind small coil-bound notebooks; I’ve half a dozen of these kicking around with misc verses and inspirations, abandoned or to be polished and posted someday.

I was given this small notebook as a Thank You for helping with a writers’ workshop. I immediately started filling it with haiku — a style I learned about at that workshop. It’s a cheapie but its hard cover made it easy to take along while travelling, so many impression were captured fresh from the stream. Here are some scribbles waiting to be spiffed up and posted someday.

Do you have a similar collection of scribblers holding your assorted thoughts? Maybe January’s a good month to deal with some of this under-developed inspiration? One at a time eventually gets the job done. Or, as Solomon once said, “Who hath despised the day of small things?”

Relaxing at Home

Part of the Christmas story we never hear:
“And when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem, their camels finally got a much needed break.”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt yesterday was BREATHLESS and today it’s RELAX.

I trust you folks who’ve been rushing around breathlessly getting ready for family gatherings and/or tying up year-end duties at the workplace will soon be able to kick back and relax.

I have nothing original to say about these prompt words, but I do have this poem by Edgar Guest. I’m very fond of it myself.

NO PLACE TO GO

The happiest nights I ever know
are those when I’ve no place to go,
and the missus says
when the day is through, 
“Tonight we haven’t a thing to do.

Oh, the joy of it– and the peace untold
of sitting ‘round in my slippers old,
with my pipe and book
in my easy chair,
knowing I needn’t go anywhere.

Needn’t hurry my evening meal
nor force the smiles I do not feel,
but can grab a book
from a nearby shelf,
drop all sham and be myself.

Oh, the charm of it and the comfort rare;
nothing on earth that can compare!
And I’m sorry for him
who doesn’t know
the joy of having no place to go.

by Edgar A Guest
Image by S-wloczyk-2 at Pixabay

The Living Sky

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is VARIEGATED SKIES. Considering this province has taken as slogan, “Saskatchewan, land of living skies,” you can imagine we see lots of variegation when we look up. It’ not all just flying bugs, as some suggest when they hear that phrase.

I woke up before 5am and couldn’t sleep, so decided to start my day with a cup of coffee and a quick check of my In-Box. When I passed the west-facing window at 5:30, I saw an almost full moon with a few bands of clouds hovering just above. It’s pretty nippy out there, too; our temp shows -27 C.

We here on the Canadian prairies aren’t alone in the living skies dept, though — it’s just that we get to see so much sky, the land being so flat and all. Here’s an ocean scene from Greece, courtesy of Pixabay, with lots of variegation in the sky.

Since I’ve taken up paining, I’ve been studying the Impressionist artists, especially Monet. They’ve been quite successful at illustrating living skies, dabbling away with blue, grey, violet, tan, coral and cream. Here’s a painting from Unsplash, shared by the Birmingham Museum Trust, entitled CROWS, that shows a lovely variegated sky:

Now it’s time to enjoy a second cup of coffee while I make some down-to-earth plans for today. I’m cooking both meals at the Villa today and dinner tomorrow, so that will take some Planning. Have a great weekend, everyone. Maybe you still have some last-minute shopping to do today? Stay warm and safe.

Hope is a Thing with Feathers

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is HOPEFUL. Which brings to mind this classic verse by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words 
and never stops -- at all.
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me

I wonder if she got the inspiration for this verse from seeing birds on a winter morning, waiting hopefully for the arrival of someone with seeds? Or pigeons in the park waiting for the old guy that always feeds them?

We regularly feed the birds in our yard, but sometimes forget to refill our bird feeder until it gets totally empty. The local sparrows understand their source of food, so when I look out our living room window in the morning there they all sit in the shrubs to remind me, ever hopeful.

Image by GLady at Pixabay

Lately, if we’re too slow getting the signal, some of the bolder ones will fly onto our front step, either on the deck railing or the stairs. Then when I round the corner of the trailer toward the east side with a cup of birdseed in my hand, you should hear the rousing chorus of “Here it comes!”

Yes, our yard sparrows epitomize the thought that “hope is a thing with feathers.” Unlike Emily’s poem, however, these birds in their extremity (or not) are always asking crumbs from me. Especially on such a frigid winter morning as this.

A Calm Untouched

Here are two verses in the much longer poem, Ode to the Hills, by Archibald Lampman. I find it very soothing as well as picturesque. I think of the Rockies when I read this.

Empires have come and gone,
And glorious cities fallen in their prime;
Divine, far-echoing, names once writ in stone
Have vanished in the dust and void of time;
But ye, firm-set, secure,
Like treasure in the hardness of God’s palm,
Are yet the same for ever; ye endure
By virtue of an old slow-ripening word,
In your grey majesty and sovereign calm,
Untouched, unstirred.

And yet not harsh alone,
Nor wild, nor bitter are your destinies,
O fair and sweet, for all your heart of stone,
Who gather beauty round your Titan knees,
As the lens gathers light.
The dawn gleams rosy on your splendid brows,
The sun at noonday folds you in his might,
And swathes your forehead at his going down,
Last leaving, where he first in pride bestows,
His golden crown.

Emerald Lake by Faith McDonald — Unsplash