March 5, 2014

Max’s Musings

By Max Molleston

With these long and snowing and very cold months, we who have been in the climate may have increased our hardiness. It’s been a winter that is hard to forget. I recall the winter in the late 1970s which seemed relentless in terms of accumulated snowfall. We stayed at home more than we might have. For those of us in the close environment of University of Iowa, the school’s basketball team has been a draw. Same for your local excitement, high school basketball and wrestling. Our daughter’s family is in Iowa City, and that is a reward for us, keeping us from heading to warmer climes. The quiet time does mean I observe and write. In this case a couple of poems about the chill of the past cold months. Our big kitchen window supplied the action about a month ago.

Birds Outdoors

There’s always daylight drama
coupling the power of flight with birds we know.
The search for nutrition urges the winged marvels
to peck around the somewhat snowy surfaces
for morsels, probably insects, seeds and grasses.
Today a few crows interrupt pleasant (and cute)
maneuvers of the smaller winged.
Crows are much larger than the other fliers.

The nearby tree seems to be safe,
but flights to and from it indicate some unease.
They leave, gone now from my tree and ground,
gone from my window, departing as quickly
as they came to their challenge,
winging from tree to ground for water or food,
doing what they do, exhibiting the who and why
to us, erect and untalented homo sapiens.

Birds all possess that mysterious lift, analyzed by
engineers, and replicated in powered flight. It is amazing on both counts. My kitchen island, the big window, and a pen and paper did all that. I learned, as a newsman, not to be afraid, and just to “cut” some of the “beautiful combination of words” from the page. In this flurry of poetic activity, I removed the first two stanzas of the poem I wrote at the death of my mother in 1999. It is now more meaningful. I also created a poem about deafness, mainly that which we can be born with, or which may occur at an early point in some lives. It ends up being about modern times, and language challenges generationally and electronically for American sign language. It will make this column during this year, just not this month. Join me in April.

Filed Under: Personal Growth