Tag: nature

Not Native

It’s just coffee.
Dr. Joe’s coffee and the
Market Battery and the
Princess of Wales namesake on
Stone edifice around the corner from
Tattoo parlor and Gentlemen’s
Clubs. It’s just an
Old downtown trying to
Bring on the latest
Food Fad — bubble tea and
Burger Bars. It’s just
A room for people to
Congregate, with their
Bowls of fair trade coffee
And their laptops. But
It is not native to
These uncomfortable countrified
Children, waiting for
Dad to pay and for
Some kind of green
Space to open up and for
“Time to go!” and its particular suburban
Inflection to mean “Hop in
The Van” and not this strange
Unfamiliarly natural flow out
The door, on foot,
Which requires the journey to
Be more than
The destination.

Could Not Hear Her

I don’t think the woodpecker cared
That I strained but could not
Hear her
Over the wheel river of minivans
Flooding down the
Back road toward the
Little neighborhood school.
My girl and I stopped our walk
To spot the bird
At work
High up in the
Still-naked bough. We saw her
But could not hear
No, could not hear her,
Knock, knock knocking
On a branch
For her breakfast, no
Neither could we hear the
Diving chickadees or
The curdled call of the
Scurrying morning doves.

The Blue in the Bird

I am not like the
Momma bird who pushed me
From her nest. She’s the
Eastern bluebird, easy to spot
Easy to identify, all the
Straightforward qualities of
An uncomplicated thrush that sits
Still, then quickly alights,
Uncomplicated in our lives.

I am my Daddy’s daughter–
Heavy layers of brown I drag around, with
That something saggy dangling from my chin
Which no one can look away from,
And I’m a sorry mess
Wandering around in a stranger’s
Yard, chasing a friend I never
Quite catch up with, the
Sleek deer or the overzealous
Beagle, just a little wishing to
To chat and say

I am Momma’s daughter,
Though, still with wings that
Carry me unsteady over the
Road when I need to go, and with that
Bit of blue around my eyes, I’ve been
Seen as occasionally beautiful in my
Own way, with just enough sense to
Show myself when you pine for life to
Spring again, but to disappear into
The hedge, my way to send your day’s
Shadows into longing again.

Watch Not My Driving

Across the Post Road
I watch not my driving but
Two ducks unison
They break the

Cycle of wild movement
And slip into
A glide, dropping together
Into some secret nook of
Water and reeds between
Strip mall and
On ramp.

The Trees Awaken

One last look
Take it.
Before the
Slumber rolls off their
Thin arms
And they notice the
Finches scratching at
Their skin–
Her beggar’s song:
I’m hungry darling
Please bring out your
Beautiful berries from
Winter’s dreamland.

The trees awaken
Before we get a moment
To say
Thanks again for the
Barren and perfect
Rest from summer’s
Greedy beauty.

The trees awaken
Like a flash of lightening
So one day you’ll climb
Up the Merritt Parkway and
All your longing for
Spring will have
Disappeared across
The budded view.

The Weather in Honduras

Cantaloupes from Honduras by E. Howard on Hipstamatic

81 and partly cloudy
In Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Snowy bits flutter
Downwind from a
Hanes factory, dusting
The cantaloupes as
They vine through
Pest-free fields.

This post is part of a month-long series of #smallstone found here and on the web. Thanks to Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita from Writing Our Way Home for supporting a wonderful writing community.


My neighbor I don’t
Know him, except he
Grins and hellos us
On our way to school.

My neighbor he parks
Beater cars in the
Road, rims resting
On blacktop.

My neighbor wears
Dark hoodies, and has scruff
On his face. If he has a wife,
I’ve never seen her.

My neighbor I don’t
Know him, except this
Long rail fence we pass by
Which, I notice,

He repairs
For the sake of, it seems,
The beautifully organized
Orange coneflowers

That lean on the rails
Come September,
And clingy
Morning glories which

The kids marvel at–
How different they can
Be from evening to day.

This post is from my poetry series for January, “What Details Know” — daily small stones and photos, as part of The River of Stones.

Read more small stones on Twitter at the #smallstone hashtag.