Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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in the end the day
brought almost nothing
waiting for the thrash of winter’s fist
to stop us cold
a flick of indecisive wrist
arrived instead
a shadow of much bigger kin
spewing this and that
a weaving mincing minuet
danced by a drunken storm
that in the end
picked up its skirts
and ran away to sea
shouting gaily
flipping off
the solemn
weather seers

a bit of tongue in cheek this morning. we got off easy yesterday during a noreaster that could have been much worse.


a burst of chickadees

despite the morning’s
snow and wind,
the birds came, knowing
they would feed here
in the sheltered tuck
of our house’s ell.
when they had
picked it clean,
I ventured out
with snow drunk dogs
to heap the platform
high with seed again
and stuff the suet grid.
as I struggled,
being short,
to place the hanger
on an apple branch,
a flutter led my eye
to see a burst
of small black caps,
spread scattershot
through apple arms
and lilac upright spray,
brassy bold, waiting for
their feast,
and us to go.

not knowing what form the snow would take, it was a shock to see upwards of 30 birds (no exaggeration) together at our feeders this morning, in the middle of swirling snow and wind. mourning doves, jays, chickadees, cardinals, titmice, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, a red bellied woodpecker, slate colored juncoes, the odd sparrow all came and went, constant movement, an amazing sight. our chickadees are pretty fearless, and they regularly wait (and scold us if they think we move too slowly) when the other birds have fled. the sight of 15 or so of them spread out in the branches while I filled the feeders was marvelous.