Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the sixtieth poem in this series. This week’s piece is by septuagenarian Charles Francis.
Daemon or Bird
Out by the shed
where the mowers rest
a horned lark made her nest
The nest- less than secure-
a hollow in tufts at two birch’s narrow breech
the mower can never quite reach
It’s no protection, not really,
just a birch and its twin
spaced so the mower can’t pass within
Eggs there were
two could be spied
abandoned when I walked by
I saw the male rarely
yellow-white face, almost forlorn
topped with black feathers of horn
His song I heard though
space filling pitch and timbre
a sort of a banter
A ritual spell-casting chant
Not a mixture of sound
but a full musical muster
an occult tonal cluster
There was something ancient here
an age-old cadence
of expectance and puissance
I marvelled at the nest’s endurance
at the female’s dangers’ unguessed
at wonders unblessed
I marvelled at the horned lark’s coming
the building of so simple a nest
and then one day at its emptiness
I asked Charles what prompted this piece and he said…
The horned lark nest was in back of my cottage on Young’s Mountain, Nova Scotia two summers ago.
Writing what you know. Thank you, Charles.
American-Canadian Charles Francis is a retired Maine high school teacher living in Nova Scotia who writes about Maine local history and nostalgia. Now, at seventy, he’s begun writing poetry within setting of his North Mountain (Nova Scotia) cottage. The horned lark is a Nova Scotia rarity.
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The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with mystery author Elaine Macko – the six hundred and forty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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