Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A blossoming love for poultry

I never realized how incomplete a yard is without chickens, until I got some. My chickens roam all the way up to the house, peacefully clucking and pecking at bugs all day, and during the hottest part of the day they hide under the big plants that Dad hasn't cut down yet or in the shade of the trees and sleep it off. I know they're looking forward to the cool weather, and so am I, because in September they should start laying. Mom says she's seen the random white one crowing and that therefore he must be a rooster, but as far as I've observed, only the little bantam rooster is a rooster. His name is Edward, and his sweet little mate is named Elinor. She sits on my shoulder and chatters, and pecks at my earrings or the neck of my shirt. Every once in a while she pecks at the corner of my eye because she doesn't know better, but I always blink in time. She hasn't pooped on me yet, because she's a good bird. She sits still while I fill up the feed and water, and I've learned to walk slower when she's on my shoulder, because she's not very aerodynamic, and when I walk at my normal pace she gets blown off. My Rhode Island Reds aren't quite as well socialized, but when they're hungry they follow me around and stand on my feet and peck at my toenails and let me pick them up. Only when they're hungry.

My guineas are unfortunately still alive, and every time I see them I tell them that they're going to taste really good one of these days. They're neurotic and stupid and ferocious, and my hands have sustained many cuts because of them. But I hear they're very tasty, and I'm holding out hope. I've also heard that they're supposed to be tick eaters extraordinaires, but mine are defective and laze around all day in the chicken coop.


Istvan said...


“To dream of skating on ice means
satisfaction with a current project.”
--Dictionary of Dreams

Amidst white groves
Inside a lilac tree
I gaze at airy flights across a frozen lake.

Like soaring birds
We are all of us, skating on ice.
Spanning circuits
Dense, ring-shaped,
Dazzling as a diamond dream
Before the break.

Beneath the brightness, I see a shadow
And the semblance watches me.
A shrill remembrance,
The impervious stare of quartz:
A trade-off between tomorrow and the past.

The break below faces a ruptured skyline.
Its path
Squalls out for meaning.
The meaning is the sea.
I seize the mirror and the likeness mirrors me.

Beneath the brightness, a shadow floats
Under a pond of ice.
Freezing up in time and space
I drift inside the memory
of a winter’s whorl,
Headed to where I came from.

Istvan said...

Thank you very much for your comments.

You have made several "tactical" remarks which I will address later on.

I have one basic strategic question (or rather, two) and it concerns the last line. If this doesn't "work" for the reader then there is no poem.

(1)I will argue that it should be obvious that "back home where I came from" is a reference to the biblical quote of "from dust to dust". I claim it is "obvious" from reading the poem that the skater has fallen through the ice and is drowning. (going back to dust).

I claim that it is obvious that "back where I claim from" can NOT mean anything else like, for example, going back to Fort Lauderdale. There is nothing in the poem to justify this.

(2) The other crucial line is "the meaning is the sea" which is also a reference to the ocean as death. There are many literary references to justify this. For example, there is a line in a very famous poem by the Spanish poet Jorge Manrique (15th century)which goes "Nuestras vidas son como los rĂ­os que van a dar a la mar,que es es el morir." which roughly translates to "Our lives are like rivers which end up in the ocean, which is dying."

I would like to hear your views on these arguments. I claim the poem has "unity" (and also, surprise) because of the last line. Of course it is not spelled out in detail because then it would not be poetry but journalism instead.