MURMURATION

by Linda France

1
*
Because we love watching the flock’s precision glide
upstroke for height, tilt of wing spun mid-flight
just for a moment
we’re in the frenzied swirling rush

home for the winged

owls hoot their love through the dark
chiffchaff creeps up stalks
fennel and flow
dipper and wagtail
Arctic terns like darts
geese honking each note weighed
a duck sits on top of the bowling club out king of the world

if you love the bird, don’t cage it

we’ll miss the starlings when April comes

*
on any high hilltop, breathing this air,
this precious air, remember those who lost their breath

if you love the flower, don’t pick it

a sudden sweep of daisies in a green field
like counting stars
losing count
starting over again

more shades of green
than words scream Life!

life, damp grass between bare toes
light passing through poppy petals
the slow unfolding of a rose

home for the prickly, those that slither
climb or crawl
for us all

atom by atom
cell by cell
what else matters

we cherish these conversations when the vetchling speaks
the lavish eruption of nasturtiums, weaving ropes of white stems
orange flowers
lush leaves
hearts burnt open

if you love wild things, let them be

*
follow the almost invisible path through the heather
summer’s easy grin, the slow smile of autumn
gaze of winter starlight

isn’t this how we learn not to fear
change
the seasons
that mark time
shape our lives

spangles of sunlight on a river
otters rippling

the sting of cold sea on tight, red skin

we feel it all, drink it in and love it

love honey, love bees
the smell of dust, hot rain
a damson tree
dripping purple fruits

love the kiss of a dandelion clock

wind-suck and time disappears

the pull of the moon
waves that crash with forgotten history
the rubbed edges of the world
a spider crab scurrying sideways

we love the roaring isles
the taste of a peach

our neighbours busy in their vegetable patch
the daylit gate

tunnel of trees
those little paths one-person-wide
between hazel and ash
warm bark

in the city that birthed us
bright tufts that grow in the cracks

*
because we love the way dawn wakes up
and switches night to day

the twist and fall
the surging sweeping joy of it all
the visceral thrill

how dusk strips away the waste of worried days
as birds yield to their roost
and leave the night to moth and bat
beyond day, beyond everything

we know we too are rock and star

but now on the tip of our tongue

even love’s not enough

2
*
At the midnight of the year
utter darkness
a million compasses fail
and the starlings don’t come
empty sky
no swallows, no swifts
no summer nests in the eaves
threads looped in the blue
a blackbird that isn’t there
opens his throat
into silence, thin air
no golden note

you wake to a dawn
unheralded
dusk, uninvited, doesn’t know
where to begin
ghost calls echo in the trees
dogs and deer stop barking
rain forgets to fall
its rhythm broken, lost
oak and elm hold their breath
you will never see another flower
the stars’ last vanishing act
no words left

3
*
April high tide
hurls driftwood
oarweed
sea-glass
a wreckage of shells

tomorrow comes soon

how much would you pay to hear the sound
of rain
or birdsong

what if couldn’t-care-less cared more
and we let the murmur of change
change our ways

hear the roots of trees
whispering
dark soil’s cavernous memories
tectonic plates shift

sit like a mountain
all weathers
in our hearts

what if our flutterings become feathers
the starlings lend us their wings

till we trust enough
to fly together
synchronised one vast voice
all different, all the same
to mend our wounded earth

ballads of continents crossed
comrades lost to storm or predator
the shockwave moving through the flock

see how we flit
twist swell
dive
co-mingle co-exist co-inhere

belong together

*
imagine we’re made of those slivers of sky
know all the colours of light

hitch a ride on the bees’ flight
go to earth with badgers
small as Alice catch the worm
the keys of the ash
rise like a dandelion
the promise of a peony bud

where heather meets heaven
home

this is the patience of the albatross
a cormorant’s hunger
craning for a flash of silver
beneath the water

the good omen of a crescent moon
milky stars
set in new stories
meadow orchids
skeins of geese

a chance to constellate honesty
justice
escape heroic fantasies
gravity’s boots

so what if’s rubbed out
and becomes what is

the path between

then we can hear the hiss of rain

*
what is
is more than the ear can hear
or eye see —

we will never have this time again
can never rewind this moment

all the maybes, all the small things
we touch
gentle, curious
and let pass

like fruit in season
the secret language of earth
underland of coal, uranium, oil

indifference banished by love

power to the parliament of rooks

it’s just this us
the people
our footsteps
walking into all this wonder
every day through every weather

solidarity
the planet’s rage

making a stand
for a different future

it’s just this
our words
building this home we share
these bridges

nowhere else to go

here we are
turning over
this tainted page

to start again

and healing the earth
the earth heals us

our better place
not a destination
a method

common ground

*
ask
what if words could fly
and this poem rose into the blueness
a whirr of black italic wings

breath by breath
a prayer
to give life back to life
all of us
pieces of the world

what if all the time we were searching
the sky
the birds
were watching for us

what, if not cartwheeling
what, if not care
what, if not a cadence
like love
held lightly

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April 13, 2021 at 4:13 am Leave a comment

The Temple of Knowledge

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April 12, 2021 at 4:12 am Leave a comment

Imagine Yourselves

תתארו לכם עולם יפה
פחות עצוב ממה שהוא ככה
ואנחנו שם הולכים עם שמש בכיסים
ומעל גגות, הכוכבים
והזמן עובר בלי פחד
ואני הולך לפגוש אותה בגן העדן

תתארו לכם קצת אושר
כי הוא כל כך כל כך נדיר כאן
עיר מגניבה בתוך החושך ושנינו בשמיכה
והיא מלטפת אותי ואומרת לי
מחר יקרה מה שרצית
והיא מלאה השתקפויות של עצב ושמחה

תתארו לכם באמצע יום יפה
שמיים מעליכם, האהבה איתכם
כן, ככה זה קרה, לפתע היא אמרה
אני עוד זוכר אותה, כמו בסערה
תתארו לכם אותי נופל לתוך זרועותיה

תתארו לכם עולם פשוט, חדר ללילה, בית בגשם
ריחות עצים מלאים בתות, ושנינו שיכורים
“אם נפרד אני אמות”, היא לוחשת וגועשת
תתארו לכם עוד הזדמנות לחזור פתאום לנעורים

תתארו לכם את החיים, זזים אחורה וקדימה
מה שחסר שוב מיתמלא, מה שהיה פתאום ישנו
ואני מביט לתוך עיניה ונגנב בכוח פנימה
תתארו לכם אותנו מגשימים את כל החלומות

תתארו לכם באמצע יום יפה…

תתארו לכם עולם יפה, פחות עצוב ממה שהוא ככה
ואנחנו שם הולכים, עם שמש בכיסים
(תתארו לכם עולם יפה, עיר בתוך החושך)
עולם פשוט, תתארו לכם קצת אושר

מתוך האלבום שפויים

TETAARU LACHEM

Imagine a beautiful world
less sad than what it is
and we walk in it
with suns in our pockets
and above the roof tops, stars
and time passes by without fear
and I’m going to meet her
in heaven
Imagine a little happiness
because it is so rare here
A cool city within the darkness
and both of us
inside the blankets
and she caresses me
and tells me
tomorrow what we wanted
will happen
and she’s full of sad
and happy reflections
Imagine to yourselves
in the middle
of a beautiful day
the sky above you
love is with you
yes,
that’s how it happened
and that’s what
she suddenly said
I still remember her
just like in the storm
imagine me falling
into her arms
Imagine a simple world
a room for a night
a home in the rain
the smell of trees
full of strawberries
and we’re both drunk
“If we’ll be separated I’ll die”
she whispers and storms
imagine having a chance
to go back to youth
Imagine to yourselves
in the middle
of a beautiful day
the sky above you
love is with you
yes,
that’s how it happened
and that’s what
she suddenly said
I still remember her
just like in the storm
imagine me falling
into her arms
Imagine a beatiful world
less sad than what it is
and we walk in it
with suns in our pockets
imagine a beautiful world
A city in the darkness
a simple world
imagine a little happiness

April 9, 2021 at 4:09 am Leave a comment

Mister and Lady Day

Mister and Lady DayBillie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her
By Amy Novesky
Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

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April 7, 2021 at 4:07 am Leave a comment

Galaxy Song

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April 6, 2021 at 4:07 am Leave a comment

Earthrise

by Amanda Gorman

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April 5, 2021 at 4:05 am Leave a comment

BOOK DAY: The music of words

Happy International Children’s Book Day 2021!

by Margarita Engle

When we read, our minds grow wings.
When we write, our fingers sing.

Words are drumbeats and flutes on the page,
soaring songbirds and trumpeting elephants,
rivers that flow, waterfalls tumbling,
butterflies that twirl
high in the sky!

Words invite us to dance—rhythms, rhymes, heartbeats,
hoofbeats, and wingbeats, old tales and new ones,
fantasies and true ones.

Whether you are cozy at home
or racing across borders toward a new land
and a strange language, stories and poems
belong to you.

When we share words, our voices
become the music of the future,
peace, joy and friendship,
a melody
of hope.

April 2, 2021 at 4:02 am Leave a comment

Avril

Atchoum Atchoum Atchoum
Le mois d’avril est enrhumé
Il a besoin de se moucher
Chut, ne fais pas tant de bruit,
dit la petite souris
sinon tu vas faire peur
à la première fleur.

April 1, 2021 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

The Day the Crayons Quit

by Drew Daywalt
illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

From being misplaced in between couch cushions, to coloring Santa’s magical coat, a crayon’s job is anything but easy! A little boy named Duncan has the most colorful companions who have countless adventures you can only believe by hearing their stories.

Happy National Crayon Day!

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March 31, 2021 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

THE BOY WHO LOVED MATH

Happy Birthday, Paul Erdős!

The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Most people think of mathematicians as solitary, working away in isolation. And, it’s true, many of them do. But Paul Erdos never followed the usual path. At the age of four, he could ask you when you were born and then calculate the number of seconds you had been alive in his head. But he didn’t learn to butter his own bread until he turned twenty. Instead, he traveled around the world, from one mathematician to the next, collaborating on an astonishing number of publications. 

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March 26, 2021 at 3:26 am Leave a comment

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