The Art of Integration

For two years, they returned

to the bluebird house,

several times a season

to lay eggs and raise their young.

The male’s iridescence in the sun,

a deep blue sapphire blessing

with his mate, swooping over the water

in aerobatic dances with their dinner —

the insects that thrive here as well.

Such a noisy lake at times,

tree swallow chirps and gurgles amid

the eerie meow of the catbird,

the redshouldered hawk’s kreeya

and at dusk, the pure cacophony

of the ranids, the creaks and croaks

of toads and the tuba call

of the bullfrog.  And though

I try to heed the warning caw of crows,

I was deaf to danger,

only noticing they no longer came

to the nesting box, now inhabited

by sparrows.  The smell alerted me,

for the new birds had killed

the defenseless native mother bird

and built their nest atop her

decaying body.  Such savage cruelty

in my own backyard! Even though

it echoed the behavior of my ancestors

building a civilization

with the same complete disregard

for native life. I haven’t mentioned

the blares and sirens

from the nearby highway — it’s not poetic.

Rather than face

my own barbarity, I defend

these swallows, determined to trap

the invaders.  I cannot see a way

to integrate these two forces,

and here lies the root of

my society’s ills:  we fight and resist.

We clearly see the bad

in the other.  How can we

find a way to synthesize,

while the gene pool declines

and the hidden costs grow?

What tool will shine the light on the pain

we’ve never acknowledged,

the beauty destroyed in the act of creation?

When will I learn that only when I am most

triggered, appalled, enraged

am I close to the key — the aching

wound that I must admit

the true cacophony deep inside.

I can offer here

the words: I am sorry.

I am part of the resolution.

I am your most

valuable resource, the one you most fear.

Don’t turn away. Take me in.

In the heart of the destruction and chaos,

this is where we find ourselves.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: swallow

First Star I See Tonight: Vernal Equinox

“I see the ancestors’ existence as parallel to our own. We are here and so are they.” Francesca Mason Boring, Connecting To Our Ancestral Past

We ascend

called forth yet again

as if for the very first time

with the same energy the womb

thrusts the newly emerging

child into the world.

At first, the stars seem reluctant

to show themselves as if they await

some sign proving

our valor, persistence,

our curious nature

even in the thickness of the dark.

Or perhaps we have no eyes

to see those pinpricks of salvation.

We root for the food source,

like a nursing babe

oblivious to the colander of starlight

piercing our hearts.

Blame the long winter, huddled

alone and lackadaisical, yet

without this darkness, we might

never see

destiny calling, tempting us

from the deadly grip of our fate.

Shining through the connections

the lost tribe clutches us

from the other side.

We need them now

more than ever, our urgent call

oblivious to their constant presence.

The stars biding in broad daylight

as spring swells seedpods,

tiny roots push upward

through the deep, cold dirt,

echoing our yearning

yet again.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: invisible