Sep 13, 2007

Poetry Friday Challenge: Letting Go

It's raining here, the last vestiges of Humberto the hurricane spending his last, failing energies.

The field out behind the office is filled with white cowbirds, each hunched over against the blowing wind and the driving rain. They're looking for bugs and such stirred out by the floodwaters, I assume, and being birds accustomed to working in knee-deep water they find the rain to be not so bothersome.

Here's the picture (much cropped) but that's not the entirety of it.

I want to tell you what I saw when I looked out that window. I want you to have the experience of it. Thus, my Poetry Friday Challenge: Letting Go.

Three Songs For The End Of Summer


Egrets in the rain.
A yard full of old men in long white coats.
Teachers of mathematics or science or medicine.
Each one's head bent under the unbearable weight
of vast stores of knowledge.

They all face the same way,
together they are wending
their slow way
across the huge, rough-kept quadrangle
of some ancient college

Each making for an echoing classroom or musty library,
ready to let go of their burdens,
ready to pour out their overfull clay jars of knowledge
onto the upturned faces of their students
or onto the pale blank pages of books.


Egrets in the rain looking like a field of nuns
resplendent in their white habits
sowing wheat by hand.

Undeterred by the rain,
heads bent to their task,
casting out carefully measured handfuls of seed
onto the damp ground

Mindful of the harvest their work represents
they move patiently, meticulously
letting fall potential onto the receptive ground.


Egrets in the rain.
Last vestige of Summer's theocracy.
They look like
a group of pilgrims
gathered in some consecrated vale,
quietly worshiping as the black clouds
let go their burden of rain onto white vestments.

Each one stands with bowed back
and head held low, humble before god
eyes looking only at the ground
as though to find some
pearl of wisdom cast before them
lost in the tall grass.


Nancy Dancehall said...

Whew. You are good.

You have to somehow paint this.

(And I have to laugh. Patty Larkin's 'The Cranes' just bubbled to the top of the shuffled playlist I've got going.)

Joan of Argghh! said...

That's a lovely thing, there. Nice.

meno said...

This made me think that egrets are just regrets without the r.

nice images.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I love your triple-take on the egrets! The photo was the kicker...something in the colour of the sky, the impending rain, I could feel the dampness rising and the way the world seems to slow down when we have to stay inside our little houses and watch nature rumble Herself over us. I echo Nancy...You Are Good.

Irrelephant said...

Thank you, Nancy! I realised a long time ago that Life is a lot more fun when you can see something more than just what's in front of your face. As for the Lattice of Coincidence? *snort* Ooooh no, not gonna get me started.

Joan, I'm glad you enjoyed. It had been raining all day and I was feeling a little melancholy, a little poetic. Kind of like Percy Shelly on a good day. *grin*

Meno, that's great! Can I use that?

Mona, thank you most humbly. I kept seeing them all lined up out there, the rain spattering down on them, and they just seemed so relaxed. I love a good rain, but they seemed to take it utterly in stride. There's a good lesson there for those with eyes.

Maggie said...

Spirituality of egrets.
What a lovely feeling I got reading this. That sadness of summer's end, but the uplift of somberness at bowed heads full of heavy thoughts.

Irrelephant said...

Maggie, I heard from someone or other that a writer cannot truly write about anything they haven't experienced. Me, I've grown up surrounded, as it were, by egrets. In the fields, in the bayous, even in the ditches there's always the rather ubiquitous egret. And working in the fields for so many years I cannot help but encounter them, and grow to love them like I love the dragonflies that flit and the cicadas that sing me to sleep at night.