Sunday, April 28, 2019

Spring is in the Air, with Mockingbirds and Plum Trees

I saw two mockingbirds in a battle with four large, black crows that came to eat their babies out of a nest in the oleanders. The mockingbirds were less than half the size of the crows, they were outnumbered yet they fought fiercely, fearlessly.  They led the crows towards a big tree across the neighbor yards. One after another they flew at the crows to peck them with their sharp beaks. It lasted for more than ten minutes. I would help them if I could but I cannot even throw stones, and definitely have no guns around, so what is one to do? My heart went out to the brave birds, so beautiful with their white stripes on their tails and open wings... They are my favorite residents in the garden, I love listening to the infinite variety of phrases in their liquid melodies, flowing, like flute improvisations, clear and there sparkling in sunlight.

The next morning only one crow returned, and was chased away by the mockingbird. Then, I saw another couple in the same dance as I was going on my morning walk. The same dance of love of your offspring, fearless love, fighting with the lazy crows, who did not seem desperate or hungry, just filling their time with something to do...

Everything is in bloom. The roses are huge and the rainbow of hues richer than ever. I added more fragrant bushes - Grande Dame, Double Delight, more Love, silver on the outside and vermilion inside. Some I did not save the name-tags for, though I should have, now I do not know what to look for, after they prove themseves, blossoming in the garden.

My peach tree had dark mauve flowers, but they came and went too quickly. There will not be many peaches this year.  At my friend's house a plum tree blossomed and was so pretty with the pink-white blossoms with darker stamens, that it became a spring poem:

The Day of a Plum Tree

Like a pink anemone 
at the bottom of the sea
stamens dance in slow motion
Plum flowers open and stretch 
towards the sun   -  the sun   - the sun

They drink the dew and juices of the earth
flowing up the roots, the trunk, the branches

Their petals like layers of crinoline skirt
 fold and unfold, re-arranging themselves 
around dark plum-hued heart of hearts 
Dancing stamens wait for the bees 
to make honey and fruit out of 
their passing beauty

Soon, breeze will rise
among branches - pink blizzard 
of swirling petals                              will waltz         

                    through the air 

to the ground                  to the roots            into 


The flowering 
of the plum tree 
once again

(c) 2019 by Maja Trochimczyk

I've been working on my folk ballads series, their designated readers are in prison, locked up, rejected by society whose rules they rejected first.  More complicated verse might go right above their heads, rhyme makes things easier to remember.  After the Ballad of the New Sun, the Ballad of the New Star, the Ballad of the Heart, and the Ballad of the Golden Scroll, time for The Ballad of Angels.

The Ballad of Angels

If I were an angel,
I’d know how not to cry.
Everything would be perfect
In my gold-winged life.

If I were an angel,
White star within my heart,
My path, the space around me
Would sparkle in the night.

If I were an angel,
You would not hear me lie.
Truth is so simple, always
It teaches us to fly.

Oh, wait! I am an angel
Wrapped in a rainbow glow.
I dance like crimson sunbird
In clear skies high above.

I am God’s light servant.
I speak, I walk in truth.
Dazzling, resplendent quetzal
turns dark to dawn to noon.

Angels are all connected
To serve the greatest good
So every living creature
Is happy as they should.

We too, can be angelic,
Filled with the divine grace
If we throw off our burdens
Of guilt, of shame, of vice.

Our path is clear and narrow
Don’t seek forbidden fruit.
Follow the guidance given
Step onwards, foot by foot.

We’ll reach our destination
Our wings grown wide and bright.
Hearts soft, like dove’s feathers
We’ll dance high, in the light.

I'm not quite satisfied with it, maybe rhymed work does not suit me, it seem too rhythmic, too clodding. It does not have the rhythm of dance, of poetry, it is more like heavy steps of a prisoner. So maybe it would fit and have an effect where all else failed?

Who knows, what I can do, the only thing I can do, is write.  Workshops are great to fix poems, I like bringing first drafts to workshops, not finished poems, because then I get  help in correcting errors, or finding things that I have not seen, such as using the same word twice in close proximity or adding a "punch line" to a poem that does not need one, for it is not a joke.

Here's the new, improved version of what was once "A Poem of No Name" - and is "On Landscapes: A Guidebook" - the reference to Baroque poetry with all these Capitals is purposeful, as is the allegory.  

On Landscapes: A Guidebook

First you cross the Salt Plains of Rejection
into the Desert of Abandonment.
Mount Disappointment lies just beyond
The Valley of Regret. This is a huge country.
You lived there for decades. You explored
every nook and cranny; path, boulder, crevice.

Ever since your mother disappeared
for five months and a year. Ever since
you learned to write at six to send her
your desperate pleas: “Mommy, come back.
Mommy, I love you. Mommy, why don’t you
love me, any more?” You re-lived this story
time and time again. In every marriage, romance. 

Now you know too well how it feels.
Now you can open the enchanted book
and say the words of magic.

You pour out a River of Molten Light –
dazzling, white hot, yet cool to touch –
over the chaff of broken feelings, the dust
of memories you wish were not yours
to keep and gather for the Ancient One.

The chaff burns.
The shadows flee.
You find a grain of gold
Under your feet.
Smooth, shiny, polished,
It is yours to keep.

Is it a grain? Look closer, a golden acorn
rests in the palm of your hand. Plant it
in Guilt Valleys. Plant it in the Deserts 
of Despair. plant on Fear Mountain slopes.
Plant on wind-swept Plains of Sorrow.

It grows so fast. Soon, a magnificent oak tree
spreads out its gold leaves and boughs.
New life in your Landscape of Desolation. 
Look through its branches. Be mindful, 
attentive. What do you see?

Here: the Fertile Fields of Bonding.
There: the Rainbow Meadows of Connection.
Look carefully now. See the Pristine Peaks 
of Fulfillment, the Sun Garden of of Gratitude? 
Filled with every kind of fragrant blossoms, 
the heady perfume of rose and jasmine, 
delicate scent of lavender and forget-me-nots, 
liquid melodies of birdsong in the air.

This is not a mirage.  
This is your own world 
to conjure up, delight in.

Here. This gold grain is for you. 
Will it become an acorn or 
a pine cone in your hand? 

Come. Let's plant it 
and watch it grow.

(c) 2019 by Maja Trochimczyk 

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