Tonight I'd like to post two poems and a drawing by my former student Jennifer Elizabeth Hall. Her first poem brings spring nearer to us.
Cradle of Life
In the garden at the greenhouse, by a waterfall
that dives into a pond of stones, splashes in
tiny ripples near reeds, and old fallen leaves,
under a red maple, as frogs call back and forth—
I hear baby birds chirp, above a vine-draped arbor,
from a tall tree with blossoms from tiny white buds,
that reaches to the height of the Conservatory
under solid blue day and a warm orange sun.
Up high on the side of the round white flowers,
I find the cradled bird’s nest. Within the dense tree,
a mockingbird mother with gray tipped black wings
jumps to safety in the middle of the tree, to observe me
with curious gold eyes, glowers and sings, a warn full
reproach, and I notice the thorns, two inches and sharp,
that surround the tree. Only a small downy white
feather, caught on the end of a thorn still wavers
with the breeze, evidence of the price to breach the tree.
Careful not to prick myself on the thorns’ tips,
I feel the soft, silk spring petals, with pink tipped
filaments, sprouts from the pale green stems of this tree,
called a Hawthorn. Cradled deep, small and round,
dark fruit begins to grow. The nest of brown twigs sleeps,
quiet, embraced by the knowledge mother bird is there,
though she has not yet returned to her babies. Above
she waits, her fluffy beige underbelly and gray fan tail
patient, lest she give away their location. Soon it is time
to go, to let the mockingbird alone in its home.
As I walk away from the full tall Hawthorn, now
it appears to resemble a small hedge or bush of green
leaves, more innocuous, less formidable. I can imagine—
once this was the Tree of Eden, in the Garden, in a place
Adam and Eve took the knowledge of good and evil.
Above the shade of the thorns, the sun shines bright over
the greenhouse, just a harmless green tree beside.
A Cat with Tattoos
A cat, casually smokes a cigar,
wears calligraphy swirls in S like curls, an artful grin,
big as a house, he ignores the little drawn man, in huge
black boots with head a-spin, like a vortex to pull him in,
who waves a finger at him when he sits down on a car
he crushes, then raises a brow at, oh well, destruction
drifts off to daydreams of sand wasteland, monochromatic
thoughts of crosses and graves like stakes and the sun
drips of blood in the sky, watches like the eye of God,
and smoke flows up to the stars.
Continuing the theme of animals, Jennifer also sent me this picture of "Charlie."
Jennifer Elizabeth Hall is a poet and artist residing in Montgomery Village, Maryland. She has a passion for art, music and literature, as well as genetics and neuroscience. She has just completed a trilogy, and awaits its publication. Her poetry has appeared in Dragonfly Arts Magazine.
Although the picture on the cover is very wintry, let's start with pianist Duke Jordan's "Flight to Denmark," the country where he lived at the time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYDW4KXAxIc
Another of his songs is "Flight to Japan": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulpeHmuiGYQ
The other day I was listening to some Freddie Hubbard videos, so here is his "Birdlike": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnWRV_X5bKQ
A contemporary group, the Kamasi Washington Group, performs a version of Hubbard's "Hub Caps": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8xA3voo9v4
I'll finish with Washington's version of "Cherokee" from his recent album Epic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DM9fGXHhlk