Sometimes, poetry happens right in front of us. The challenge then is to figure out the words to put down on paper!
This past Saturday morning was one of those times that cause cliches to almost sprout from the ground around you. The rising sun, its brilliance seemingly driving shadows away, was over my shoulder as I walked toward the back of my yard. The blue sky above was cloudless, and a color that brought sapphires to mind. The bright sun didn’t cause it to wash out as it sometimes does–it was simply gorgeous. The temperature hadn’t started to climb on that August morning in north Alabama, and a breeze made the air feel even more delicious. The day was beautiful in the truest sense of the word.
As I approached the garden planted and tended by my wife, the deep green of squash and cucumber leaves provided a backdrop to the stalks of the sunflowers that rose well above my head, nearly double my height. I anticipated looking up at the blooms, knowing from the previous day that they were at the height of their visual appeal.
Bringing my gaze up, I was startled to see unexpected movement. There was a goldfinch, clutching the face of one of the flowers. The bird wasn’t simply standing there, rather, it was laboring to pry seeds from the head, oblivious to me in its efforts. The yellow of the finch’s wings fluttered to aid with the effort, and that in turn seemed to animate the sunflower, the hues nearly matching. The few seconds I was able to watch before being spotted seemed to last much longer than they really did, and eventually my presence was known and the bird disappeared in a streak of gold against the sky and then the leaves of the nearby tree line.
That was poetry. My words simply try to keep up.
A solitary goldfinch
Some ten feet off the ground
Working hard on a sunflower head
Against the blue Alabama sky
In her writing this past Friday, Molly Hogan of Nix the comfort zone published a blog post (Gratitude and #poeticdiversion) in which she presented some poems she’d posted to Twitter with the hashtag #poeticdiversion. Following her lead, I also posted and tagged this poem. You should probably post one, too.