A staircase of shelf fungus scales the side of a hawthorn tree.
All around me, the ground undulates. Robins shovel leaves in search of food. “Do what you want to do” floats into my mind as clear as birdsong.
A Carolina wren sings a medley that includes the song my wren at home sings. B-flat followed by G-flat, repeated five times.
A female hooded merganser sleeps on a sheet of ice, her mate nowhere in sight. Upstream, a great blue heron squats low in the water, drenching its chest.
I like talking with the old men who don’t seem to have anyone.
Hawthorn tree: Your fungus is soft, your spikes hard. This is life.
At home, I get out my piccolo and play along with the birds.
A child screams like a hawk — or maybe a hawk screams like a child.
Frozen water droplets hang from the branches like thousands of crystal balls. Light-catchers, these drops tell our future.
Trees shred the wind. My dog sleeps.
I feel like the dark-eyed junco in my yard who has the excreta of another bird stuck to its tail.
Language is in my fingers these days, not my mouth.
I am ill and screaming like a starling.
Even the noisy house sparrow calls me back to the present.
My thoughts yellow like old paper.
Winter: Snow remains in the shadow my house casts.
Life: looking down to see the remains of a dead bird at your feet.
Bare tree limbs speak to each other in Morse code.
Starlings pull up the garland of the sky and hang it on trees. — Jeff Schwaner
Life is better since I started pointing my camera away from me. By camera, I mean mind.