Memory for a Winter Day, by Antonia Matthew
One Spring I saw
flying toward a knot of trees
bounded by a rough, muddy road
and ploughed fields
that rolled away ending at the sky.
The herons were silent,
as if flying in from the past,
on their great wings
that tilted, quivered.
They hovered over the trees,
suspended for a moment,
then their long legs stretched down,
wings folded, and they dropped,
drifted through the maze of branches
into the shadows,
landed on their flat, untidy nests
with a slight bob
and fluffing their feathers,
as the late afternoon sun
slid into the grey clouds.
Writing on Snow
Elaborate net of slick
pine needles and gleaming snow
possessing tiny forked bird work etchings
imprints repeated and crossed
detailing trails to banquet
beneath the eastern side
Berries bright and dull, met
with excited chirps and maneuvers
offering clues to exposed discoveries.
Now pretend, that the tiny bird-foot
markings comprise an ancient language,
that you now fully understand
and within the newly deciphered
glyphs, you have been told
exactly where your newly
filled feeder must go.
Written By: Patricia C. Coleman
The Voice of the Crow
The time of the voice of the crow is here.
The time of corn leaves rasping in the wind.
The time of skies that hurt the eye.
The land is dun.
The trees stand naked in their skins.
The year is broken.
Crows fly across the gap.
Written By: Leah Helen May
A very special WildCare “thank you” is extended to the Pastors and Members of St. Thomas Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bloomington for its recognition of our mission and special collection for WildCare at the church’s services on Sunday, October 2. The St. Thomas Community honored the work of St. Francis with a St.Francis Sunday Blessing of Creatures.
Bird of Darkness
Listen to the eerie calls
of Barred owls perched along
the wooded edges of the creek.
Hunters of the night, their soft flight gives
no warning to the small beasts
they harvest from winter fields,
just a terrifying flare of wings,
the stun of talons driven home.
Silent death descends,
punctures life’s bubble,
bears the still-warm flesh away.
Sudden, simple, done.
Bird of darkness, when you come for me
surprise me in the smother of your wings.
Play no cat games but strike
hard and true. Swallow me whole,
hair, hide, and bones, complete.
Written By: Leah Helen May
Mama cardinal is looking sleek again,
her olive-green feathers tinged
with cream and persimmon hues.
No more, the dull draggled look
of nesting season.
No more, the constant gaping importunity
of cheeping beaks.
Nothing to hold her to the nest
now that it’s empty.
Not so much as a flash of red
or a note of song
from Papa cardinal
to entice her to do it all over again.
She will do it all over again,
This morning, her only plan
is to fill her own belly
after a few more moments
on this quiet twig.
Written by: Margaret Fisher Squires
WildCare extends heartfelt thanks to the group known as Five Women Poets who raised substantial funds for WildCare at their chapbook reading on May 15th. The poets read their poems from their book “Birds of a Feather” and have graciously allowed WildCare to publish the poems on this website. Watch for them on a monthly basis. Thank you to Patricia C. Coleman, Deborah Pender Hutchinson, Nancy Chen Long, Antonia Matthew, Leah Helen May, Anya Peterson Royce and Margaret Fisher Squires.