Posts Tagged ‘Diana’

“Turkey Vulture”, from “Pitcher of Moon”

April 11, 2014

 

Since April is Poetry Month, I will try to post a new or old poem every couple of days.  Frankly, after 4 published poetry books, I thought this January  poetry was over for me, and I would concentrate on some novel work, but this didn’t seem to happen.  The poetry, such as it is, keeps coming and like a river flowing inside, the poems keep appearing.  I don’t have any answers as to why this is, because I never started out as a poet; I thought novels, short stories was what I was destined to write.  However, I am reading Dr. Rollo May’s “The Courage to Create” and perhaps this gives some leads where creativity come from.  My belief is creativty comes from our encounter with opposition.  Courage is needed for that in some measure.

I am glad, now, about the poetry, because I find poetry to be something deep inside the psyche, something that appears unbidden mostly, and actually, in a strange way, therapeutic.  “Turkey Vulture” was written almost two years ago after a series of phone calls to a sister of a sisterinlaw. I had never met Diana, but this poem comes from her direct experience feeding strays of different species.  “Frank” was the name she called the turkey vulture.  Diana would not use these same words as Rollo May, but I think she has the essence of what he writes in her life.  She has the courage to go up against opposition on many levels and this is a good form of creativity.  I have love and respect for this woman who does not shy away from these huge birds, especially when a possum rattled my cage the other night.

Lady Nyo

 

 

TURKEY VULTURE

 

I once knew a woman

Living in a scrubby trailer park

Down near the scrub pines of Florida.

 

She was poor as a church mouse,

half–crazed by life.

She fed all strays

-was the pariah of the neighborhood.

 

Every evening a flock of vultures,

Like fixed-wing aircraft,

Would skim the pines,

And land in a muddle of feathers,

Awkward birds out of their element

Land and with a group waddle

Come to the cat food offered in pans.

 

They were patient guests

And waited for the strays to finish.

 

There was decorum

Among them,

These fierce looking birds

Perhaps they knew

The charity offered

Had humbled their nature:

Or perhaps they had reformed;

I don’t know

But they had a leader named “Frank”

Who held back until the others were done.

 

Frank would never face you;

He sat sideways

Though I believe he peeked.

Perhaps he was ashamed

A lord of the sky

Brought down to this station,

To fill his crop with kibble

From a dented metal pan.

 

Come sit with me.

Extend a feather,

I promise not to stare.

Your warty red neck,

Your hang-dog countenance

Does not disturb me.

 

Come sit beside me,

Let our talons dig into the sand

Let the ocean cleanse our feathers

I will call you friend, brother

For the gift of trust

You have brought on your wings.

  

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

From “Pitcher Of Moon

 

 

 


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