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      CARDINALS
                   by Richard Springer

 

                             Birds with auguries on their wings
                               Chanted undeceiving things...”  Emerson
                                                                                                                    
You stop
  halfway down the walk-
strong red cardinals are swooping
  above, in summer trees.
They call out,
  bugling banners of long, clear notes,
Wait, wait- Here, look  here…
                    Here, here! - Now...Now...Now !!”
Then quick
                  small   kisses
and once again,
the whistling ricochets of song
         zinging up and down
so you could swing from them-
hearing it now,
the song pierces everything
    you know
  and you’ve got it with you forever.

Day’s fine, fertile cape edge sweeps
 through ringing air in a crimson rite,
  dispels the heavy vagueness of habit,
    daring you new feeling and sight,
to see truly -

Look – the noble, elegant couple,
these flame-like, constant partners,
stayers-on year round through everything-
    always the unfailing sign
           of good fortune and hope.

He, scarlet, virile gentleman,
   fans the spark daily
              by close attentions-
they stand shoulder by shoulder 
  in an easy intimacy.
Proud, ruby crowned him, no longer alone,
 the haughty first feeder - now stops, passes
   first a seed
  delicately, beak to beak-
     her tail flicks... a chirp.

The rich scene
        a master artist’s dream-

 His determined, easy will, the proud full-bloodness,
the piratical, angled black mask
        and strong nose
 in wholehearted  vigilant watch -
   as she, muted lass
      of modest, subtle plumage,
   though long tailed and
           finely crowned as he,
     darts casually from
grass to tree down to grass again,
 browsing in nature’s time.
      Still - her demureness contradicted by
a little mask and gaily lip-sticked
                                    beak.

Suddenly a flash of oriole streaks past-
 Then he too rising, an arcing
   bright splash of wine,
this heartbeat flying through the sky
 in his fine scarlet line
  a divine accent,
       arrowing  in morning’s lush greenery,
through the heart –

Then, hey  …it all sinks in,
       and you start off again,

        down a different path

          closer to the day.

 

              
                                       RLSpringer

 

 

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