The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond

wood duck pond

The Watcher at Wood Duck Pond

One day hiking we came to Wood Duck Pond
and there we saw an older gentleman
sitting in a chair
eating his lunch and watching
just looking ….. and looking

He might have been a Buddha
He sat so still
But there were no ducks
on the pond
or in the air or on the shore.

He was gazing at the stumps and logs
and surface scum
unbothered by mosquitoes
or deer flies
or gnats.

Froth on the water
reeds growing by the edges
stumps rotting in the lagoon
and not a duck to be seen….
Didn’t bother him.

I asked him why he sat there.
He said he watched for ducks
and whatever else might come by
maybe a heron, “it doesn’t matter”.
He just sat and watched, looking.

Not wanting to disturb him further
we whispered good wishes for his watching
and walked quietly onto the wood’s path
where we saw butterflies and snake skins –
but still no ducks –
although I found myself also watching.

by caf
Photo and poem © carole fults

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Fishing

heron

Fishing
One summer’s solstice
the blue heron
dropped from the sky
to stand in wakeful stillness
in the green scummed pond
by which I watched from the shore.

Her twiggy legs and intent stare
alert to burbles source below the surface
she moved only once sparingly
darted, speared her dinner
flash of silver
returned to watchful silence.

Finally, weary of my unrequested presence
she casually withdrew to the air
and in full self-possession of her strong winged strokes
she flew freely
to fish in waters
of greater solitude.

by caf

© photo and poem carole fults

Morning on Bennett Hill

                    creek

 

                   Morning on Bennett Hill

It was a magical morning to be awake on Bennett Hill
The horses and cows were blowing fog from their nostrils
as geese and crows competed
for the shrouded airy currents.
The rising sun looked like a ghostly lantern
as it tried to penetrate the mysterious steam
that enfolded everything in a sheer gray woven fabric.
I heard a chorus of joy rising from the creek
and as I ran to discover the source of the song
I saw angels rising from the mist that blanketed the waters.
A gentle wind was stirring and the angels were chanting:
“Holy is the wind, Hallowed is the wind that stirs the waters
and brings us breath!”
As the breeze dispersed the mist and the sun burnt off the fog
I watched the chorus fade, still chanting.
And staring at the water I saw smiles in the waves
and heard laughter in the currents.
I took up the angel’s chant
“Holy is the wind. Hallowed is the wind that stirs the waters
and brings us breath!”
And I heard the wind reply:
“Holy is this earth. Hallowed is this Earth that calls our names
and gives us life.”
©  Photo and Poem by Carole Fults

Coyote Wind

Jan Wild Moon

Coyote Wind

Did you hear the wind last night
howling up the creek
whistling in the snowy, twig shaped shadows
of January’s full moon?

Did you see the moon
last blustering night
brazenly brightening the deep sky
dark of clouds?

One time, when the gale quieted
and all sound was frozen silent
I slipped outside in time to see
a Screech Owl fly stage front shrieking
“Wild, wild everything is wild!
Everything is wild!”

The wind rose again as I huddled under a tree
It pushed me through a tunnel
into the reckless freedom of space and adventure,
shattering the stale sameness
that orbits everyday life.
It sang a new way into being and then,
returned me to my bed, freshened,
where the barking spirit of Coyote
stalked my sleep
and dreams dripped into an awakened life.

©Carole Fults photo and poem

Bittersweet

Bittersweet              

A Perfect Storm

Once a six month storm tore at her shutters
a hot and turbulent wind
pummeled the untanned hide that sheltered the door of a dark cave
wherein lived one of the world’s most illiterate hearts.

As she allowed the wind to help her dance in the trees
Her toughened pelt became soft as velvet
and as pliable as priceless leather
limp, whipped and limber.

In the aftermath of the thrashing torrent
tears kept her hardness soft
and as she walked in the forest
she saw Bittersweet
strewn on the path under her feet
and she rested with her eyes wide open.

©Carole Fults photo and poem

A Short Encounter

tree-in-creek

A Short Encounter
I heard her before I saw her
body leaning as she attended
the lilt of a stream playing at her feet
amidst rhythmically clacking stones
a swing draped over one arm
deer signs nestled between her toes
proof of other visitors.
I caught her looking on
as I slowly stalked the center of the nearby labyrinth
but though she watched my slow progression
she did not halt her harmonies with the creek
or let loose of the wind
crooning in her boughs while some silly bird
yammered from his perch on her tallest limb,
some kind of avian rhythm I presume.
I heard and saw all of this as I rambled
along the labyrinth path
and when I reached the center of the puzzle
her spacious bones set loose a blustery breeze
and her old leaves rattled
as if applauding my achievement.

I bowed to her, my audience,
and as I withdrew
the creek, the wind, the bird and she
returned to their private world
where important things are known,
no one forgets to sing their part
and no one misses a beat.

©Carole Fults

 

The Cries of WIld Things

Wild Things

The Cries of Wild Things

The hawk’s clear, shrill whistle – cry
cracked the stillness of the woods.
Jolted at first I didn’t know
what the sound was…..
It was like a great mournful shriek of pain,
but then the red tail flew from the trees
into the open air
over the golden fields
and shrieking and crying she made a graceful flight
into the open air
across the next two fields
and into the far off forest.
Her screams stirred deep compassion in my heart
although if her cries were pain or joy I never knew.

the cries of wild things
coyote yelps and howls
the ‘yikes’ of the little frogs,
unmelodious crow caws,
the peep of the hummingbird,
all add qualities of pleasure and poignancy
to this life of ours
if we but listen.

And in thankfulness for these gifts
I will raise my own voice
to cry for the sorrows grieved
and to sing praises for the joys celebrated
in the cries of wild things.

©Carole Fults