stout beaks crush
With my fieldglass, I soon locate
the little bird (sometimes tangled
by an old stone
When you startle a sparrow,
you may find it
Sometimes I listen
to the white.
Following Margo over to Pomosco (this is day 18).
I do like this, de. ‘Sometimes I listen/ to the white’. How lovely.
I am in awe of this poem. It hides so much wisdom and depth, just waiting to be unearthed by the bird, grubbing for worms.
“crush weed seeds” And of course, “crush” has multiple meanings. We do develop crushes on weeds, don’t we? Even their seeds. It starts out as something tiny, almost invisible, and then the longing for the unhealthy blossoms, just as if they are flowers and fruit. This is deeply spiritual, to me.
“sometimes tangled by an old stone” Something that previously buried her with its weight, perhaps comes back now and again to press down upon her afresh. Also, this could be a reference to the rolled-away stone of Easter celebrations. But the tangling and the wall indicate that she wrestles with her spirituality.
“When you startle a sparrow, you may find it” This grabs me hard and holds me. Perhaps the bird is invisible or unnoticed until shaken up in some way, “startled,” as you say. Then, she is seen. And she does not care for such a thing to happen.
“Sometimes I listen to the white.” I love poetry that seems like it means nothing but could mean anything. White represents holiness and purity, so I think that “Sometimes” is key. If she sometimes listens to the white, then by default, she must also sometimes listen to the black. This could also have to do with depression. I think the speaker is talking about herself when she describes the bird. By third-personing things, she pushes away the personal connections. She acts as if she’s distanced and talking about someone else entirely.
Listening to white, in context, is also listening to the winter, the snow, the cold, the pain and sorrow.
Also, when a word stands alone on its own line in the beginning, my eye connects it to the closing line, for some reason. So I read the closing as “Sometimes I listen to the white how” … which is very close to “white house” (uncapitalized), which makes me think of a white picket fence and the American dream. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. In any case, the speaker is observing nature and pondering her own heart and existence, which I deeply connect to. Thank you for writing this. It’s beautiful.
I like the idea of this – that spring can be slow to come sometimes, or fickle, back and forth. And sometimes when you are waiting for something to change or occur, listening to the “white” is the best advice of all .