Jun 12 • 2M

Winnowing

A conversation with a snipe

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We Are All A Part. Writing and recordings about nature, existence, and wildness.
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Yin. Dark. Heavy, solid, cold, earthy. North side of a hill. The moon rising near the field where the snipe flies all night, near Vershire, Vermont. 2022
Yang. Light. Warm, ethereal, south side of a mountain. The sun setting in far eastern Iowa, near an old forgotten patch of woods where I camped one night off a quiet highway, near the Mississippi River. 2022

Winnowing

It happened when the grass was flowering:
pale puffs of dust, appearing with a breeze, 
or even from a tiny beetle
landing on a stem. Just enough
to send life outward.
Snipe stood on a log that morning, just watching.
I thought about the sound he makes as he flies all night
and he watched me, and I watched him, and as usual, 
the sun rose.

The good from bad, it seems the thoughts, or feelings
are of different weights. Tossing them to the wind
what blows away from me are good feelings.
What falls to the earth are the bad thoughts.
Which seem to pile up.

But what is good, or bad, to a snipe?
Or to a tiny granule of contained life
sent forth by a beetle's landing
or the hum of a flies wing?

Snipe stands on one leg and scratches his head, watches
me, pollen, trees, beetles, sunrise, and as always
things I can't yet see.

What do you see snipe? What does the winnowing sound of your night flights mean? Why this morning do you stop, on a log, to watch me? Have your eggs hatched? Do you know
if your nestlings will have a marshy home?
Or are such thoughts beyond you?
You must be just a piece of life itself.
Not good, not bad, but beautiful
fully real, and peaceful.
Your silent morning log watch and scratch, 
your handsome, calm brown eyes
are a gift to me.