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
I walked the labyrinth with your hand in my pocket
and your voice on my shoulder.
Your shoes walked with me
and we saw that there are barriers in life
and you can jump them sometimes if you want,
but if you do you find yourself someplace
you were supposed to be earlier or later
but not now.
The smoothest way in or out is to follow the path
without leaping the stones, though you know you can,
until you reach the center
where the way of return is not what you think
and is unrecognizable, although it mirrors the way in.
If you don’t follow the path you could be lost in the maze.
I heard your voice say
“It takes a lot of patience, but
what else are we here to do, except follow the path to its end
where it begins again, notice what’s in our way
one foot, then the other
breathing, opening, paying attention.”
I say “I’m so happy to have you on this path with me, so glad you return when I call you, and wistful when you go.”
Tell me a truth”, I say to you
“Tell me what you’ve learned over there after you finished the labyrinth.”
“Things just are” you reply. “Just look and enjoy, there is nothing else to know.”
©Carole Fults photo and poem
Watery wind battered our serene and wondrous landscape.
Fury, darkness, and destruction
were waged upon our bucolic home
as the world we had come to trust rose against us
and the lovely trees and friendly stones turned into weapons
and death came to our neighborhood through raging waters.
In the morning, in the quiet after the hurricane
a tiny buzzing like a bee outside the window,
a flash of a ruby throat
and neon body hovering in the air.
A hummingbird, all of an inch long,
appeared at the feeder,
his biggest need being for breakfast
and a quick trip to a neighboring Petunia blossom.
Where I wondered did he go for refuge in the storm?
How did he manage to live through the nightmare
that destroyed those much larger than himself?
And I think about the children who are battered,
deserted and denied –
where do they go for warmth and hope and loving hugs and safety?
They have, I hope, as does the hummingbird at my window
hearts born resilient
tempered in the fires of loss
and transformed by the power of truth.
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.
Periwinkle wild flowers
Drifting on the wind
a chickadee sings her winter song
Knowing I will also die
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.