Thinking about the concept of living life with arms wide open. I realize how difficult this is in the time of the Coronavirus. We have been relegated to stay at home, the very antithesis of wide open. These last months, I have found solace by gazing out my window. Luckily, that window looks out onto a field and then the woods. The scenery changes every day with new visitors: chickadees, juncos, cardinals, hawks, turkeys, fox, and the occasional coyote. For me, living life wide open means living life with a bird’s eye mindset, setting my gaze wider, taking everything in and remaining in wonder.
Lately, a line from Emily Dickinson keeps recurring in my mind: Hope is a thing with feathers. It is a poem I recited often when my mother was gravely ill and subsequently died. The day we cremated my mother, we stepped out under a beautiful blue November sky and suddenly a flock of Canadian geese took flight, flapping and honking as they went. They formed a perfect “V.” I stared up in wonderment: my mother’s name is Vivian and the geese’s V-formation was a surprising salute to a remarkable woman. Hope, indeed, is a thing with feathers.
I love to experiment and play. I’m always looking for new things to learn and ponder. Recently, I came upon a new form of poetry called nonets. Nonets are poems with 9 lines and 45 syllables. Nonets can go in either direction from 9 to 1 or 1 to 9. A new children’s book about nonets, Nine: A Book of Nonet Poems written by Irene Latham and Illustrated by Amy Huntington, will be published in June. I’m sure children would love to try their hand at this form of poetry.
Line 1: 9 syllables Line 2: 8 syllables Line 3: 7 syllables Line 4: 6 syllables Line 5: 5 syllables Line 6: 4 syllables Line 7: 3 syllables Line 8: 2 syllables Line 9: 1 syllable
Here are a couple of my inventions. I love how the poems look like wings!
Nine Song Birds
In my yard, under the great green pine,
The songbirds gather in the shade
Pecking and chirping along:
Robin, jays, chickadees
With one joyous voice,
Keeps the beat:
Rhythm – – –
The crocus first,
Rows upon rows,
Then yellow daffodils,
Golden guardians stand watch.
Sunshine in the form of flowers,
Long awaited spring returns and blooms.