It has been eight months since I started feeding the hummingbirds. I hung a feeder on the deck railing off our living room. The garden is two flights of stairs below so they often fly up from beneath to perch and drink. Being a Massachusetts girl, even after over forty years in California, I worried about them in the recent rain and cold. Apparently, there are Anna’s hummingbirds that over winter in Oregon and Washington. They have even been spotted in Alaska. After making sure the sugar-water was not too diluted from the rain, I am trust their resilience and enjoying their visits.
This poem is from the cool summer in San Francisco but this winter weather and the sense of meditation and hibernation in the cold seems on topic. Happy Holidays and a hopeful New Year, my friends! Thank you to all of you who have bought my latest book, Cloudbreak, and checked out the anthologies that have included my poems– Fog and Light and Pandemic Puzzle Poems. All were published in 2021. Busy writers in the pandemic!
It is a companionable silence.
The hummingbird knows
I am the provider of its sweet water.
The cold summer mist swirls,
dampens the garden, ruffles
both scarlet gorget, and my curls.
We sit eight feet apart.
It perches on a buckeye’s bare branch.
I meditate seated on a lichen-covered bench.
The heliotrope, laurel leaves,
and cuphea flowers rustle and sway.
Zipping up, the tiny bird flies to
the second-story deck and nectar feeder.
Sated, it returns to me to contemplate
the graying late afternoon.
We muse together in our garden cloister
for another ten minutes or so.
Then buzzes away for more sweetness,
alighting back on the same twig.
We resettle our feathers, gaze around.
What is the bird’s meditation?
Momentarily gone is our restless
fight for success, primacy, survival.