The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Notes From The North: The Poetry of Place

Tonight is calm and frosty with a mist rising from the oak glen. The chime of the Saw-Whet Owls fill the gloaming with the music of a mt. brook spilling across this moon-washed hill. For this tiny northern owl the lack of snow brings good hunting for mice and moles. Their name is the sound of the woodsmen sharpening their saws on the whet-stone, their size puts them in the palm of your hand.

We cut wood and put dreams of Spring on the back-burner, for the weather seed is planted and will grow in coastal spin, not now, but soon, in the season's change. We are foolish for looking for Red-Wings, the winter Robins feed in the bittersweet, yet even they have a hard time with the bitter berry. Gold Finches love the thistle seed at golden price per pound, and the squirrels have bigger brains than us all.

The Eagle spun on its talons and dropped like a stone upon the edges of Malaga Island, his head snow white, his back coal black. Only the white flash of his head shows against the rockweed as he feeds on fish of Sea Duck.

And from the roof peak, the waters of the Gut are crystal clear, no wind before the turn of the tide and we watch the Eider swim to the mussel bed, 15 feet to the channel bottom, and feed amongst the weed. The males white back is like a school of fish across the bed of shellfish.

This morning, early, the first flock of northing Geese dropped down from the New Meadows River, rested in the Malaga Gut, and headed out across the Kennebec.

The morning smells of Spring; that damp awakening of leaf, mud and life.
Why are we pushing leaf mold away to look for Snowdrops?

--Win Brooks

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the first in a series of prose poems by Win Brooks, poet, naturalist and builder, from Southern Maine. He is also my Uncle, and has little idea how much he inspired me as a young student of language and geography, of love for the natural world and all its inhabitants!

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