Rainmaker dances, a wild electric dance, she courts thunder to come clap alongside her, she calls her sisters to join her trance.
There are four rainmakers dancing, their electric hair streaming wildly white, black eyes flashing as feet pound minty music.
The sound of rain pouring comes, thunder claps loudly, and black clouds roll their eyes. They blink and tears stream down, showering daily.
Grasses lay on their side beaten, thunder rattles raising rooftops until the hairs on Mothers arm stand on end. Continue reading
What the Rose did to the Cypress, A Persian Tale from The Brown Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang, 
Once upon a time a great king of the East, named Saman-lalposh, had three brave and clever sons—Tahmasp, Qamas, and Almas-ruh-baksh. One day, when the king was sitting in his hall of audience, his eldest son, Prince Tahmasp, came before him, and after greeting his father with due respect, said: ‘O my royal father! I am tired of the town; if you will give me leave, I will take my servants to-morrow and will go into the country and hunt on the hill-skirts; and when I have taken some game I will come back, at evening-prayer time.’ His father consented, and sent with him some of his own trusted servants, and also hawks, and falcons, hunting dogs, cheetahs and leopards. Continue reading
And just like that, after painting Wood Duck last month, two have returned to the pond to paddle. Not for long though, as our dog flushes them out and they wing up through cloudy skies, circling round and round to see whether we’re gone. Every year they come from wherever they’ve been to shape a nest in the woods to lay eggs in; once hatched we’ll see the whole family paddling, ducklings behind mama and papa until dog gives chase and with a flap and a flurry, into the trees they go.
Is it winter as yet? Sure smells, tastes, and feels like spring. Three days of rain and the creek flows clearly sweet, burbling and gurgling. Continue reading
It’s that time of year. Time for a new broom to ribbon and anoint before sweeping through our rooms. Give me a broom over a vacuum any day. I love brooms with their long wooden handles and bundled grassy heads. We get ours from the farmers coop, where you’ll see truckbeds filled with broomcorn, really a grass related to sorghum, after harvest in the autumn. They’re beautiful, long stalked with feathery sprays as tops that range from purplish to maroon to creamy and dusky rose. Continue reading
We are a house of birds. All spring and summer a family of starlings made their home outside a window, up in a hole under the eaves where a soffit fell out. They’d fly to and fro with worms for their chicks, disappearing and reappearing from in and out the hole. Later they’d hop out onto the cedar closeby and young starlings would make their first flights, cedar to tulip poplar and back again. The cedar housed a hornets nest, bald faced, one year; but we are a birdhouse not a hornet house and so they stayed in nest beneath the boughs even when the windows were open. A few sparrows have visited through those windows, they pecked at the kitchen floor before finding their way back outside, eventually. Once a bat flew in, giving rise to pandemonium. Unlike sparrows, who are welcome in our birdhouse, bats are not . . . the thought of a bat flying about at night, landing on my head, or worse, what if they went into my ear while I slept? My great-grandmother told that they folded up real tiny and enjoyed getting into one’s ears, though she also told that they’d get into hair and pull strands around themselves into a coccoon, Eeee! We got the bat out with the use of sheets, and kept the windows closed at nights after that . . . now the starling abode is home to juncos, they’ve moved in for the winter, starlings long gone. Winter’s arrived with snow and chickadees with shiny black heads, nuthatches, and cardinals. They seem to like it here when it’s cold. Up in the apple trees they peck at fruit, as well as usnea and lichen on the branches. In the garden, they gather and peck at all the flower stalks we leave till spring comes around, zinnias, dock, marshmallow, goldenrod, echinacea. We are a house of birds, imbibing as birds. Continue reading