Sunday, August 16, 2009

WREN ON THE WOODPILE

There’s a wren on the woodpile,
Sitting atop the stacked firewood
As if it were a private stage
Built just for his performance.
He struts with tail up and head
Flung back, brimming confidence
As he fills the sun-dappled yard
With loud and boisterous song.
Such a small thing, a wren.
No bigger than a minute, my
Mother liked to say. Yet his
Voice takes over the landscape.
The notes are sweet and clear,
Rounded and gleaming as pearls,
A bold arietta of liquid sound
That rings into the quiet morning.
The question I have is this—
Where does he find such joy?
Does some holy wellspring within
Flood his tiny heart with jubilation?
I yearn to feel that power in me,
To be so stirred with gladness
That shadows give way to singing,
And listening becomes exultation.

45 comments:

Richard said...

Great picture. I've never been able to get a picture of any wren. That's one on my "To Get" list.

Gail said...

Good morning to you Grizz this glorious Sunday-

and your poem, of the wren? your words should tremble from an altar,a pulpit so many ears can hear, feel, be inspired. Amen.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love this poem, Scribe. It has always amazed me that so tiny a bird can have such a huge voice. I once saw a wren very close to my window and was able to see its most beautiful markings - so many of these "little brown jobs" turn out to have the most incredible patterning and colour close to.
Have a nice Dunday evening.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Richard…

I have an abundance of wrens here. They regularly check out the feeder just beyond my workroom window, or hop along the windowsill and peer in at me more quizzical than alarmed—all at a distance of between 2 and 4 feet, depending on whether they're on the feeder or sill. So plenty of photo opportunities.

I would wish one of these friendly wrens your way if I could.

Did you ever see one of my early blog posts about the wren IN my writing room?

http://riverdaze.blogspot.com/2008/12/wren-visit.html

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I'm no real poet, but this seemed to encompass much of what I was trying to say. I'm glad you liked it. Thank you…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I'd hate to have to pick a favorite bird… but if forced to do so, would likely choose either a Carolina wren or a white-throated sparrow. Both small, brownish birds with beautiful, distinct voices.

I'm glad you like my latest attempt at poetry.

P.S. It's still (barely) morning here.

Bernie said...

Loved the poem....I think you are searching for the peace and contentment we all seek and some even find....keep looking as the journey can be very rewarding. Have a wonderful Sunday my friend......:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

I think all of life is that search. And I have my days, on both sides of the fence.

It's a lovely, August Sunday here, bright sun, mid-80s temps—one of those days you wish you could put in a bottle and pop the cork on about February.

Thank you for your warm comments…

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Your last stanza reminds me of a quote by Sheldon Copp: "I will take my sadness, and as I can, I will make it sing." Thank you for a lovely ode to the longing for joy.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Thank YOU for such a complimentary comparison. :-)

KGMom said...

Scribe--great thematic cohesiveness. Good use of the wren both as actualit and as symbol. Nice transition and carry-over of lines to give the poem cohesive.
Oh, yes--I like it a lot.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'd have to say IMHO you ARE a real poet. Put me at the top of your mailing list as soon as you'e published. I'll want a signed copy of course.
:)
(Not kidding)

KGMom said...

OK--re-reading my note.
That would be actualitY and coheSION.
Sorry.
Fat fingers.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

I trust you know that I really appreciate such kind words. Thank you.

Though I wrote it quickly, I thought it somehow came out better than my usual efforts. (Recent awareness? Quite likely!)
I'm fairly satisfied, but still intend to work at trying to say what I want to with words that sing.

I'm again pleased that you like it…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

Don't hold your breath—but if I ever do, you'll certainly get your wish. In the meantime, thank you for believing such a thing might be possible.

More than anything, however, I'm glad you liked the poem.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Oh, I knew that! :-)))

You're corresponding with an edyoukayted redneckl

Jenn Jilks said...

Griz, you are amazing. I just love your posts, but this one was quite poetic!

We just sent home the kids and granddaughter. I have, rightfully, neglected my blogging.

I can have some time to write again. Not that I regret doing chop, chop, timber with J. in the lake, rather than blogging, but it is food for thought come February!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

Amazing? Oh, yes indeed!

After writing and posting this poem, I took my leaky shower mix-valve apart, gave it a good cleaning, and put it back together without damaging the plumbing…now that was amazing! And even more amazing is that I FIXED IT! AMAZING!

Hey, post when you can. Kids and grandkids are truly important. You'll have plenty of time to write and post come February…and March…and probably April.

Barry said...

Loved the picture and was moved by the poem.

Thanks.

Wanda said...

Wrens are my favorite little bird...you decribe their presence on your woodpile well...they seem like an actual part of my home...all the other birds are visitors here, but the wrens seem to claim the house as their own.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Barry…

I really appreciate your nice comments. Thank you. I'm pleased you liked both photo and poem. And I'm glad to have you a s a riverbank visitor—you're always welcome.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

You're right about wrens—they are like part-of-the-family birds! And when it comes to birds getting into the house, wrens are far and away my most frequent inside visitor.

I love wrens, and I think they know it and like to hang around wherever I live. Sounds crazy, huh. But there are always wrens around. Part of the family.

KGMom said...

Scribe--actually I subscribe to the theory that the more a poem flows out, the better it is likely to be.
Poems that are worked at too hard are like bread dough that is over-kneaded. They toughen up, they lose their lightness and airiness.
It was evident that this poem flowed--inspirationally.

Jayne said...

"To be so stirred with gladness
That shadows give way to singing,
And listening becomes exultation."


Indeed! Lovely poem!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Speaking of creative writing in general, I think a lot of writing comes that way. I know that too much fiddling can kill a piece; you might be able to tinker and tighten a bit, to hone it editorially, but you end up with something that while technically improved, has lost its creative magic.

I don't count myself enough of a poet to know when I've fiddled with words or lines enough or too much. But I you're right in that this particular attempt came out pretty much as you see it, and is doubtless better for the lack of tinkering.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Thank you…and know that I truly meant (mean) what the stanza says.

Anna said...

Stunning shot, and beautiful words. Birds are so so cool. Anna :)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Anna…

Where would our world be without birds? They ARE neat…and wrens, in my admittedly prejudiced opinion, among the neatest.

Thank you for your nice words. Glad you liked the post.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I wish I'd had more of this kind of music on stage this weekend. Boy, am I glad that very-hard-rock, metal,punk Christian music festival is over.

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

Hard-rock, metal, punk, Christian music sounds like a rather mutually-exclusive genre—though maybe that's just generational pique.

Though I've played music all my life (cornet, guitar, piano, etc.) and always had huge collections of LPs and now CDs which I play, I've never been able to enjoy music while camping, or hiking, or—with a few exceptions—even when staying in remote cabins. Perhaps this is just a personal oddity, a geezer-quirk I acquired prematurely.

I do understand how sound you don't wish to hear is simply noise, disturbing your peace and irritating you to no end. But think of how relieved you are now and how you are enjoying the healing comfort of natural silence!

Rita said...

Oh how I love the wren song. So beautiful and powerful from such a little thing. And they do love to put on a performance, don't they. Always finding a perfect "stage"
Lovely poem.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rita…

Indeed wrens do seem to love performing—and sing they do, loud and sweet and clear, with all the gusto of a bird ten times their size!

Glad you liked the poem.

Hildred and Charles said...

Lovely poem Grizz - it does sing.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hildred & Charles…

Thank you…that little wren certainly sang!

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wrens are nice anywhere. We have both house wrens and Carolina wrens. House wrens now and Carolina in the winter. Don't know why but that is the way it is.

Wonderful poem too.

Abraham Lincoln - Ohio
Pick a Peck of Pixels

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Abe…

Wrens are indeed, wonderful birds to have around. I've been partial to wrens since childhood—and would give up a lot of other dooryard birds if I had to to keep my wrens.

Around here—not that far from you, BTW—the wren supply is reversed…I have a wealth of Carolina wrens (year around) and fewer house wrens. I can't explain the ratio, either.

I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. You're welcome here anytime.

Mug said...

What a beautiful blog! I have so enjoyed my visit:)...Thank you....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Mug…

I'm glad you dropped by for a visit and enjoyed what you found. Please stop by the riverbank any time. You're always welcome.

The Solitary Walker said...

Grizzled - I agree with everyone else. This is really good. I think without doubt it's the best poem you've posted to date. I love that word 'arietta' in there. It sounds just right. The character of the wren is drawn so well. Looking forward to more poems!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Thank you for your nice and encouraging comment. When it comes to my own attempts at poetry (and possibly poetry in general) my editorial judgment is, at best, untrustworthy. In spite of this rather glaring fact, I'm thinking of trying to make, say, every other Sunday's post a poem—not because I wish to inflict a regular helping of bad verse upon my indulgent faithful, but because such a commitment will cause me to at least sit and think and try to produce; I'm enough of a writer to know you must produce with a degree of regularity to grow and improve…given, of course, the limitations of your talent.

So again, thank you. And consider this fair warning!

The Solitary Walker said...

Good idea!

The Solitary Walker said...

Meant to say - I too saw a wren on a woodpile, in Scotland recently, in a conifer forest just above Sandaig. It was bobbing in and out of some logs which had been stacked and left to season. It wasn't shy. Quite a few of the birds up there seemed more trusting than normal.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

I think a wren on the woodpile sounds almost folkloric, as in "When you see a wren on the woodpile…"

Whether the rest of the line predicts fair weather, new love, an infusion of money, good crops, a coming visitor, or something else—positive or negative—it does seems to me to have the ring of ancient knowledge or belief, preserved in a saying or proverb.

Kelly said...

Beautiful poem........perfect words. I love this line:
"To be so stirred with gladness
That shadows give way to singing,"
Birds are great teachers. I guess all we have to do is watch them to "get it!" (I also like your mom's line--I had never heard that before--it's so visual!)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

I'm glad you liked the poem. I'm sure you must like wrens—how could anyone not?

I heard Mom say that many times regarding wrens, as well as other small, quick things. One of those old country sayings that translates well through the ages.