One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Voices, Spaces & Songbirds - Dreaming with Stacie

Hello Toads! I'm happy to be a part of this thriving community of poets and to write my first mid-week challenge post here. I often wake early to write, and so many journal entries reflect what is left in my consciousness from dreaming. The following journal entry stayed with me for days afterwards because voices, spaces and songbirds seem woven into the fabric of my skin -- and so, I will share it with you:


I was dreaming about birds. Large, expansive wings billowing like clouds through the sky. White and clean, like Edelweiss flowers. Soft feathers rising in an arc across the sky, cutting close to the horizon. And there were sounds and names - the skylark, meadowlark, nightingale, linnet & finch. Whole songs about birds that have shaped part of my musical life, their songs and tinny voices weaved with my own. I stood and sang about a lone, wild bird in lofty flight, a bird who carried both loneliness and beauty, calling for a great spirit. In the song, I was both a part of the earth and something beyond it, something that could soar above it with great power and peace.

Western Meadowlark

Green Finch and Linnet
How many songbirds are there and what messages do they carry? Their energy comes from light, form earth, and from the vast sky - all which are on loan to us. A sort of impermanent beauty. Or perhaps it is us that are the fleeting ones? Yes, it feels as if they belong to this earth and we are just fortunate borrowers, thieves of their songs.

Before dreaming about birds I was lying awake, replaying songs in my mind and thinking about the space around me. How the space I stood in felt as if the air was permeated with an energy that flows from sound. How that energy feels, how it tastes - the way it lingers after a song ends. We are rooted in the earth but music is not - its notes, like the bird's voice, are elusive, ephemeral - ethereal - like fairy's wings shimmering across the sky. They glimmer for a second and are lost, not gone but simply moving forward to a new space.

This, I think, is a connection worth pursuing: between ourselves and the spaces that exist in time, the space in a room, around us, on the page. The quality of air in a space, in our breath, our bodies and on earth around us. Inevitably, space leads to ground, solid under our feet - to the sky above, to water below.

The Challenge: Write a poem about the connection I described above between ourselves and the spaces around and within us: Where and how does your human voice, the poet's voice (or even the bird's voice) fit within those spaces? You are welcome to respond with a poem of any length, in any form, and from the perspective of either human or bird.

Not surprisingly, both musicians and poets alike have been inspired by birdsong. One of my favorite bird songs to sing is Meadowlark -- here sung by the fabulous Liz Callaway. Not required listening but wonderful for inspiration!

 I recently read this wonderful, bird-inspired poetry collection. 

“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.” 

By the time this is posted, I will be away on a retreat -- as it is our last official week of summer here in Louisiana, before kids, teachers and school administrators go back to work. I look forward to reading your poems when I return, hopefully refreshed and ready to sing, teach and write once more.


Kerry O'Connor said...

I am a bird lover, so I love every part of this, Stacie. Thank you for lending your voice to the garden.

hedgewitch said...

I also love this challenge, Stacie. Thanks so much for hosting and enjoy your retreat.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is a GORGEOUS prompt, very inspiring. Thank you, Stacie!

Mama Zen said...

I love this prompt!

Outlawyer said...

very cool prompt, Stacie. k.

Fireblossom said...

Okay where IS everybody lately?

Stacie Eirich said...

Thank you for those who have participated, and for your kind comments. I enjoyed writing a prompt very much, and was hoping I didn't put too much of my "self" in it.

I'm here today to read your poems as respite from sadness..or at least, as a temporary escape. I didn't get to go on my retreat because my love Isabelle, my cat of the last 19 years - was sick and we needed time to say goodbye and let her go to heaven, pain free. She is there now with my other cat of 18 years, sweet buddy Milo. I'm heartbroken, but know they both earned their wings and I was lucky to spend over half my life loving them.

Oh! I'm rambling, and now I need some poems...Thanks again for allowing me to be part of this community. :-) Stacie

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I din't get songbirds in, and the poem perhaps went in directions you didn't envisage for us – yet it chimes in with your sad news. I'm sorry for your loss of your beautiful cat. And I don't know if you should read my poem! It deals with losses – and two of them, though it's unsaid, are my cats of 16 and 17 years respectively, last year and the year before.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I've always though cat owners are lucky because they live much longer than dogs do, but it must be very difficult to say goodbye to a friend and companion of half your life. Some sadnesses must simply be embraced for what they are.

Hannah said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Stacie...Milo will always have a special place in your heart and in heaven...

I'm glad that you put your self into the made it even more impacting and inspiring...a wonderful topic to muse upon...thank you!

I'll be busy for the next two days finishing cleaning the home we're moving into...finally have moving days scribbled onto the calendar...the 14th and 15th!!

This means my blog will be dark for awhile in August will be me and the pages of my journal for a bit o' time. :)

Happy weekend to everyone!

Fireblossom said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty.

Gillena Cox said...

Late late late, and playing catch-up to a theme i really love, Bird song one of my favourite write abouts
Wishing all a good week

much love...

Margaret said...

This is a beautiful challenge and I plan on coming back to it! Just getting back form vacation...