Homilies and Poems

I am a Catholic Deacon and a Professor of English at Oregon State University. I've created this BLOG as a way of sharing my Sunday homilies, for anyone who would like copies, as well as some of my poetry. I'm also very glad to continue the conversation, over email or in person. Just click on "profile" and then onto my email address. Peace be with you and the Lord be with you. Also visit me at my website.

My Photo
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Monday, July 18, 2005

What the Thrush Says (poem)

One day in the forest
a young woman
with a long, blonde braid
crouches in a clearing.
She is counting
what we cannot see.

Listen, she whispers,
and points:
yank-yank-yank (a nuthatch)
sweet-sweet-sweet (a sparrow)

One day in the forest
a young man in a cap
spreads a net in the trees, then
plucks from his catch one by one,
a flicker, a junco, a tiny Wilson’s
Warbler, iridescent green.

He tags them and bags them
and hangs them from a scale--
he is weighing what is true--
and then he sets them free.

One day in the forest
the man and the woman
have done with their counting
and put down their tools.
One day they are ready
to tell us things.

What does a warbler weigh?
Nothing, the man says.
You can hardly feel it
in your hand.

What does the thrush say?