Needing a Sign

Restlessness accompanies me
on this sojourn today –
unfazed by ripe red
belly of robin,
or shimmering emerald
of breeding merganser’s crown.

My lens seeks out decay –
rotting wood, darkened cavities,
as if my soul craves reassurance
that life persists even where death
hovers – I need a sign

Discontent, I move on-
drive the river road
snail’s pace – praying for
something to shake
this malaise –
birds come and go,
trees radiate Spring green,
I pause, unmoved.

And then I spot it,
across the river, up high,
a massive hulk;
lens raises, adjusts, snaps,
the regal hunter turns toward me
regards me with ferocious intensity,
does not falter on his perch –

All-seeing, fearless,
he is spirit-manifested,
a messenger, lifting me
from stagnation –
momentary redemption.

(Needing a Sign first appeared here, May 2019. Image my own.)

Morrell Nature Sanctuary

Rain-infused greens
inspire whimsical thoughts –
surely there are sprites
frolicking amongst the mossy boughs,
sheltering beneath ancient roots
whose twisted tendrils rise and dip
in rhythm to Earth’s pulses.

The muddied path pushes back
against my weary legs, invites me
to sit awhile, wonder at the impossible
heights from which birdsong flits across
treetops, pinging back from unseen
distances, unhindered by human progress.

Salmonberries, newly popped,
herald the seasonal shift,
and I watch as a slug undulates
slowly past, antennae bobbing,
the black spots of its tail reptilian.

Below me, lantern-like blooms
of yellow sprout at creek’s edge
their pungent aroma carried by
the still chilled vernal breeze.

A red-breasted nuthatch scurries
up a neighbouring fir, while two robins
flirt playfully on the rainforest floor,
hopping amongst the freshly flowered
trilliums, their white crowns a regal
presence in this place of enchantment.

(Image my own)
Morrell Nature Sanctuary first appeared on One Woman’s Quest II in April, 2018. Morrell Nature Sanctuary is on Vancouver Island, Canada.

The Other Side

Wind carries Autumn’s song
and I am crawling out of a nightmare

Insides churning widdershins
thoughts grasping for a forward pull

Have been to the edge,
touched the volatile

Birdsong breaks solemnity
I catch a ray of light.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson
Last September, I was in hospital fighting
through a life threatening condition.
I penned this there. Image my own.)

Vancouver Island

Is it the robin whose morning song so sharp and crisp awakens me in this enchanted place, or the warble of Juncos whose hooded faces delight as they forage between the dried, curled aftermath of a cold Winter, now pushed aside by new life sprouting? The absence of raindrops on tin roof offers promise that the sun might appear today, the buds on the oak trees as anxious as I for the warmth.

I raise the window shades to reveal the lush green of Douglas firs, the walls that divide us from our neighbours: nomads like us in the quest to commune with a simpler way of life. We are metal boxes tucked within green pockets, quiet souls hushed by the grandeur of the forest we currently call home, reticent to disturb the wildlife that also grazes here – squirrel, fox, and rumours of cougar. Occasionally bear. We are skirted on one side by marsh, a lush welcoming for geese and goldeneyes; and on the other by ocean, where seagulls and terns claim driftwood as perches. It is the raven who is master here. Large wings casting shadows, the thrumming call – sometimes belligerent, sometimes a purr – a reminder that this land is theirs, that the totem poles dotting the island are a testament to royalty.

Offshore, seals roam in masses encouraged by the schools of trout and halibut, and soon the salmon run. Orcas gather in semi-circular formation, readying the hunt. Spring is a time of proliferation – abundance after the Winter chill.

Arise, old woman
Nature evokes new rhythm –
Spirit wants to dance.

(Vancouver Island first appeared here April, 2018. It is an early attempt at a haibun. I am linking up to my weekly challenge: trees. Image my own.)

A Bird’s Eye View

It’s a bird’s perspective I envy –
the ability to perch up high
balanced, no matter the weather
unaffected by the drama below –
I shall never know such calm,
being afraid of heights.

(For Bird Weekly Photo challenge: birds perched up. Not sure of featured image (a sparrow of somes sort), Bald Eagle, and Red-winged blackbird) A Bird’s Eye View first appeared here August 2019 and is available on diverse merch through Redbubble and Society6 – see shopping pages.)

A Bird’s Eye View Mug