Jane Kenyon was a wonderful poet. She died of leukemia at the age of 48. She wrote,
There are things in life that we must endure which are all but unendurable, and yet I feel that there is a great goodness. Why, when there could have been nothing, is there something? This is a great mystery. How, when there could have been nothing, does it happen that there is love, kindness, beauty?1
Among the many poems in Otherwise: New & Selected Poems by Jane Kenyon, I have chosen the following:
At the Feeder
First the Chickadees take
their share, then fly
to the bittersweet vine,
where they crack open the seeds,
excited, like poets
opening the day’s mail.
And the Evening Grosbeaks–
those large and prosperous
with the latest equipment, bright
yellow goggles on their faces.
Now the Bluejay comes in
for a landing, like a SAC bomber
returning to Plattsburgh
after a day patrolling the ozone.
Every teacup in the pantry rattles.
The solid and graceful bodies
of Nuthatches, perpetually
upside down, like Yogis . . .
and Slate-Colored Juncoes, feeding
on the ground, taking only
what falls to them.
The cats watch, one
from the lid of the breadbox,
another from the piano. A third
flexes its claws in sleep, dreaming
perhaps, of a chicken neck,
or of being worshiped as a god
at Bubastis, during
the XXIII dynasty.
What makes life worth living if not “love, kindness, beauty” and perhaps a bit of humor.
We have a beautiful Korat cat named Jinx. He too watches the birds at our feeders. And the beautiful birds come all 12 months of the year. Like Jinx, I too like to watch them, though perhaps with a different desire.
One of my Autumn haiku:
a beautiful morning:
just watching the birds feeding
and the leaves falling
May you all rejoice in the beauty around you–blessings of God. As always, feel free to share this blog with others. And comments are always welcomed–really! Peace, LaMon
1 Good Poems for Hard Times by Garrison Keillor, p.314.