Yesterday evening, Clara and I were walking in the Upper Arboretum, near the area marked on the arboretum map as the Old Faculty Picnic Grounds. I was enumerating the birds I had seen in the arboretum over the previous two days.
"I've seen a great blue heron, blue-winged teal, a brown thrasher, yellow-rumped warblers, house wrens, song sparrows, and a veery—but what I haven't seen yet is..."
Magically, as if I had wished it into being before I could say the words, a bluebird appeared in the branches of one of the small bur oaks nearby.
On the way home, we saw an even stranger sight: a pair of blue-winged teal, male and female, flew over Central Park and came to a landing in the branches of a large maple in the southwest corner of the park. I couldn't remember ever having seen a duck roosting high in a tree before. There are perching ducks, but blue-winged teal are not among them. What could account for such eccentric duck behavior?
Speaking of eccentric behavior, what's the deal with the weather? April was a cold, wet month. In the north central part of the state, around Lake Itasca, between 40 and 50 inches of snow fell during the month. As recently as Monday, we had snow in the air, little meandering flakes that seemed confused about where they were. Last night, a front moved through the area, bringing thunderstorms and more cool, damp weather. For tomorrow, there's a chance of snow again.
My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .
The frontispiece from Countee Cullen's The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929). Illustration by Charles Cullen. Click to enlarge. On...
Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, Septembe...
In early August, the director of the Northfield Public Library, Teresa Jensen, asked me to write a poem to be displayed prominently in the...