Wednesday, December 30, 2015


two bluejays
peanuts under bird feeder
now three jays, no nuts

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015


  1. I was thinking about Steve's juncos in the deep snow this morning when I saw this and wrote. Then we got busy (belated Christmas, lunch out, errands, miscellaneous thises and thats) and I forgot to post! Sorry to be absent from the conversation these past few days!

    1. I agree with Carol, love the "snapshot." I liked how the line, "now three jays..." , hinted at your ongoing observation.

  2. Glad you had a good day at home! Love this snapshot- I seriously have not seen any birds since Christmas, when it got so cold!

    living creatures hide
    as winter's brutal onslaught
    reduces earth to silence
    (C) Carol Wilcox, 2015

    1. I really do like that last line, Carol. So true, almost as if the world was drawing in a breath.

    2. Been thinking a lot about the conversation about aging that began on Kevin's blog. Almost every day I pass by the township cemetery, a piece of ground carved out of a farm field nearby. I am also thinking about the former owners of the hardscrabble farm my partner and I share with some friends. It had been called "Backache Acres" in the local parlance because the land is so hilly, rocky, and filled with sink holes; these former owners put in a lot of work, but then had to give it up as the economics of he operation didn't work out.

      Spin Cycle

      The graveyard is full of them,
      the forgotten ones who plowed the earth
      milked the cows and fed the chickens,
      washed the clothes and hung them on the line
      then baked lemon bars for
      church basement funerals.

      Dreams cleared the land. Hope built fences.
      Now ash trees sprout in the pasture. And
      fences fall under the weight of my neglect.
      A washing machine rusts quietly in the tall grass,
      returning bits of itself to the earth,
      called back to its simplest beauty.

    3. At some point in the fall, my early morning walks in the dark become silent walks. No more insects, no more birds. Maybe some rustling leaves. Then winter comes, and unless there's squeaking snow, all is silent when I walk. In February, I look forward to the first early birds singing in the dark.

      Nature really does have a tune (and breath-holding silences) when we take time to listen!

  3. Steve-
    This is one of those poems that I wish I had written- absolutely gorgeous. The specificity is breathtaking- I especially love the image of baking lemon bars for church basement funerals. I also love short lines that start the second stanza. Then that washing machine image that is so surprising at the end. I think about how the earth really won't be unchanged, it will take a long, long, long time for the parts of that washing machine to go away. And in my mind, it kind of fits the dying/grieving process. My dad died 22 years ago. I still hear his voice, think about him when I see or smell certain things. Thanks so much for this!

    1. Yes to everything Carol said. And I think of all the husbands in the graveyards and all the wives in assisted living. I think of the photos we sorted that had been saved for 50, 75, 100 years, and now the moments and the people captured in them are forgotten.

      I dreamed of my dad last night. And of a mom who can walk briskly upright.