It’s been quite the week. And I might have taken the Wolf Moon eclipse as my Sunday Weekly poem’s subject matter. But then we had an eclipse at Wolf Moon 2019 and I wrote one then. And I did write a draft of 2020 version, but I figured we might need to mix things up a bit this week.

Or nature might have been my muse. We have had some spectacular skies here this week as a parenthesis to the full moon’s eclipse.


But nah! When you have houseguests you tend to think a lot about menus. So food has been my muse. Also, there is a lot of music being played in the house.

 I want to stretch that infinite string
 of dried dough that has become 
 an elastic grace note pulled
 from the magic pot of water 
 at a rolling boil that’s be-bop
 and it soars round in its steam
 and you can keep it plain or do it
 fried, or meaty, or saucy or so
 spicy it feels kind of naughty,
 its cayenne kick that turns 
 to a croon till that bit of old dough
 is swooning onto your plate and it all
 started with a migrate out of the east
 on a camel’s back west, travelling
 the old Silk Road route and all along
 the people named it their way –
 gnudel or nouille or the even faster
 pasta.  Noodles are the original jazz.
 Each place would sing its song
 on a plate no matter what its name,
 served up the sauce wherever it came.
 We kind of like this noodling
 with flour, water and the odd spare egg.
 It’s poor people’s princely fare
 that can sing a mean hymn of praise
 and swoop into some melancholy longing
 for your baby who just stayed
 and never followed your string, 
 just sucked it all up with your silky voice.
 It’s all jazz and the world is just
 a pea served with your noodles.
 And all of us are just following
 that elastic note on its last string.
 Copyright © Bee Smith 2020. All rights reserved. 

Featured image Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

Bird Jazz

I felt like I needed a day off from my weekend this morning. I slept long and woke groggy and have obliquely crept into the day. I feel satisfied with the poetry workshop I delivered yesterday, despite my little wobble in the morning. Meanwhile, I am still processing what I saw and heard at Uisneach; no poems have cooked up yet there. It was sunny and warm this morning and, miracle of miracles, completely dry! So I thought I would take myself, notebook and pen outdoors to sit on the terrace that overlooks our acre. Sometimes, I find, I need to go and sit with a different view, mix up the times of day slightly. Also, with teaching two to three workshops a week over the next three weeks, I need to find a variation on my formula to fit in writing the Poem a Day for the #PoetryDaily during April’s NaPoWriMo.

What overwhelmed me was the birdsong, so varied in note, pitch, rhythm and melody. It was like a Babel at the birdfeeders and surrounding trees and hedges. I actually videoed a clip of the birdsong that you can view on my Word Alchemy Facebook page. Please do visit, like and comment. It’s public, so you may share,but please do reference my page as a courtesy.

The #PoetryDaily then.

Bird Jazz

"Could you? Could you?"
Bird speak...

How do they figure out
the lyrics in bird's melodies?
I can't hear those calls
as transcribed in bird guides.

But there is certainly a lot
of conversation,
a Babel at the bird table.

There! I did just get
the pheasant's harsh squawk,
the wood pidgeon's breathy coo.
The rest  are  'as Gaelige' to me.

It's a diverse bird republic out there
chattering away
along with the solitary bee's hum,

all in concert and counterpoint.
Is it all improvised?
Is all this bird jazz just
a prelude to nest and mate?

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured Photo by dfkt on Unsplash