Friday, September 5, 2014

Speaking with Magpies

Speaking with Magpies a book of poems by James McGrath is the inspiration  for this thread painting.

  Speaking with Magpies

In their nests of woven twigs,
they hold lost rings,
old letters, duck feathers,
cat fur, identification tags, from neighborhood dogs,
broken talons of owls,
Tafoya's lost keys.

They sit on fence posts gathering stories
voices of spotted towhees,
shadows of red-tailed hawks,
passing clouds
whispering hisses of snakes, 
twistings of lizards,
the agony of polluted lichens.

Their tail feathers,
longer than their lumpy bodies, 
are usually frayed from leaving messages,
poems in the road dust and sandbars,
arguments in the apple trees.

Their stories are carried
from orchard to orchard,
across mountains,
through windows,
held in the laps of children, 
caught in the coats of bears,
etched in the spots of lynx.

Magpies are the Mevelana Jelaheddin Rumi
of the natural world, waiting
to give their hoards away
to those who listen to their chattering wisdom,
who write poems or sit on stones
loving the world as it is.
                 10 November 2004

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