Chipper

April 16, 2016

 The little sparrows 
hop ingenuously 
about the pavement 
quarreling 
with sharp voices 
over those things 
that interest them. 
But we who are wiser 
shut ourselves in 
on either hand 
and no one knows 
whether we think good 
or evil. 

 

From ' Pastoral poem' by William Carlos Williams

In times of trouble often a hands-on week is just what you need. Especially if you are me. When I have a lot on my mind, my mind tends to be on a lot. All over the place. Working overtime, spitting out thoughts. Then it helps to have some sort of activity to pour myself into, that requires all my attention. Something to anchor me.  

 

And the Universe provided: this week I had several people coming in to interview for a job and I tend to need to focus on those things. But you know what, there aren't any poems about job interviews - nor am I sure there should be. So instead I picked one about birds.

 

Birds, that was the other thing this week. Not sparrows, but black redstarts. Small little things they are, but they gave me great joy nonetheless. They've been hanging around the area for some time now. I've heard their calls. But this week, they appeared to do some reconnaissance flights. Checking us out. Two tiny birds, maybe making our home their home.... At least something new would start, a creation of the now. And there was great rejoicing.

 


Williams says in this poem that we don't know if we think good or evil. I'd say: both. Often our thoughts spin out of control (and often bad stuff happens because we haven't thought things through). I usually think of thoughts like birds: all a-flutter. But perhaps it would be a good thing to shape our thinking more like that. Perhaps enlightenment is just that: being less heavy. Maybe it's time to let our thoughts fly and, like those little redstarts, focus just on what's in front of us. Ease back, stare out of the window and find things that, as Williams puts it, astonish beyond words.

 

#thisweekinpoetry: Every week I look back at the past few days and try to find a poetic quote to match. Or maybe the other way around, I find good poetry and try to match the week with it. Whichever works.

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