sister wind whistles and spins

A fulcrum of momentum,
she wraps her wings across her breast
until she spins out brave new worlds
where long necked geese rise through ruddy sunshine.
Thrumming a rustle of feathers on air,
they become a subliminal one with wind,
riding on her smug untidy currents.

Urging migration, sister wind eradicates
the gullibility of yesterday’s unmoving mellow air,
twisting the shallows of the lake
into crystallized shudders.
A rush of ice forms and forces this wild congregation
to hoist their voices, unfold their wings, and sweep circles
over the freezing wet cycle of time.

Sister wind whistles and spins
as silver and black flutter and flash
imprinting seasonal patterns,
migratory gyrations that weave feathers
through the shimmering spokes of her spirit’s fierce wheel.

Brenda Warren 2011

Process Notes:
After spending some time watching Canadian geese rise and fall across the expanse of Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, I wrote down twelve words for The Sunday Whirl. Check the Whirl every Sunday for a new wordle.

This morning, I morphed the words into this piece, which at first would not come. Once wind developed into “sister wind,” the piece flowed freely.

Sister wind whistles and spins for the geese. May they journey for many centuries across the prairie potholes that dot their North American migratory routes. May water fill these potholes each spring. May they flourish and flash with sister wind, reminding us of our relationship with the earth.

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The handrail’s wooden slats
mimic themselves in shadows
lining the boardwalk.
Three people leave as I arrive, we say
our good mornings and
the day is mine.

At boardwalk’s end, I sit
on an iron wrought bench
listening to the morning’s
symphony of birdsong,
crickets and wind
crashing currents that
rustle across two seasons’ grasses.
Last year’s bone white cattail remnants clump
shelter for ferocious marsh wrens
who perch askance shooting stalks of new growth
and warn me off
like cartoon birds
their tiny tails rise and fall
as they screech me gone.

In the distance
a gadwall hen pushes air
against the plump tenderness
of her rising breast.
Two others join her—
thrumming a whooshing retreat
to protest my arrival
to protest my decision to sing along
or simply to feel the feathered strength of wings
propel them upward across their wet domain
leaving me grounded
amidst a smell of death and wet fecundity
that lingers in this living marsh.

We cycle
dying and rising
season after season
this marsh, this lake,
one in a region of
prairie potholes
scoured into earth
by ice age glaciers
filled now with rain and snow melt
nesting grounds
for nomadic bug eaters
that migrate to
make Benton Lake home
so I can sit on this iron wrought
on the end of a boardwalk
that juts itself over this prairie pothole
filled to the brim with Montana’s abundant
wet spring surrounded by a symphony of song
this is me
this is we
this is everything
the cry of the red winged blackbird
rises in my throat as
I write.

A shout out to Pamela Sayers who provide the prompt at We Write Poems this week. Check out the link for more observational pieces.