Wings Wide Open

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,

While woodpecker

Keeps the beat:

Rhythm – – –




First Buds



Purple, white,

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.