Birds

Caught Between

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As winter begins 

It’s slow retreat

As blossoms unfold

At an unhurried pace

I find myself 

Wondering

How will it all end?

With a bang 

And a flash

A nuclear waste

An eternal winter or

Never ending fire?

Or will goodness

Once again prevail?

With a slow push

Towards the light

Towards love

With captives

Being freed

With grief and loss

Giving way to hope

And tears of relief

With lessons learned

Will the cycle of life

Begin again?

The little bird chirps

From its perch 

In the tree

“You choose

You choose”

Caught between

Hope and despair 

I choose hope

Categories: Birds, Faith, Hope, Lent, Life, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

While You Were Scrolling

While you were scrolling

Oh my soul

The clouds were piling

Up in the west

The leaves were falling

Silently around

The geese began their ascent

Forming their V above you

The sun hit the clouds 

In it’s descent

The light changed 

To a golden hue

Then became pink

Like the summer’s last rose

It lit the tree tops on fire

And the falling leaves

Turned to gold

The light hit your phone

And you looked up

Just in time to see

The geese overhead

The rosey light changing

Yet again

With the sun setting

Over the water

© 2021 Julie Clark

Categories: Autumn Poems, beauty, Birds, Photography, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bird Calls

The birds call to me

In many different ways 

Distracting me with 

A flash of color

Wings spread for soaring

Or fluttering from tree to tree

A caw or a quack

Or the Golden Crowned Kinglet’s

High pitched chirp

They are so tiny

How did I miss them before

I was too busy

Going here and there

I forgot to pay attention

© 2021 Julie Clark

Categories: Birds, growth, Poetry, Trees | Tags: | 1 Comment

Take Beauty Personally Today

A friend of mine asked me, yesterday, if I had a word for these anxious times, this election day. Here is what came to me first:

In this time of uncertainty, anxiety, and stress I would suggest spending some time in nature. It might be taking a walk in the neighborhood, a hike in the woods or on a trail or it might be looking out your window or sitting on your balcony or back porch. I have a phrase I have used in my poetry a couple of different times. It is “take beauty personally”. Slow down, take some deep breaths and pay attention. What is calling you to notice. It may be a flower, a tree, a bird song, the sound of water from the sea or a fountain. Whatever it is, take it to heart, a message from God, the earth, or the universe that you are beloved. Find a way to let go of what is troubling you and receive the peace and love that you need. 

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Arrested by Beauty

Arrested by Beauty

Stopped in my tracks to notice

My senses alive 

To see, to listen, to smell, to touch, to taste

These gifts all around

I am taking beauty personally today

As my beloved and I slowly walk this town

The bald eagle shows off his mighty wing span

The chickadees flitting from one tree to another

With their happy chirps

The autumn leaves in full display calling out:

“Look at me, look at me!”

I brush my fingers through the fragrant lavender

I breathe in the fresh sea air and let the sound

Of waves wash over me

Later the taste of fish tacos caps off our walk

This walking, this paying attention

Calms me, refreshes my spirit, 

Brings me home to my body

Today I am alive, happy and grateful

Categories: Autumn Poems, beauty, Birds, Life, Photography, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

A Week on Vashon Island

After breakfast

The fog coming across the water

The ferry sounds its horn

The seals sun on the little dock

Set out for them

You could forget where you are

As the sound of waves distract you

And the surf laps against the shore

You could forget that you

Have to go home tomorrow

Back to those routines

Instead of these

And the gull cries

Calling you back to now

“Don’t worry we will be here

When you return”

And the fog keeps rolling

And blurs the seals

On their little rocking dock

I visited the Mukai Farm and Garden remembering and honoring the Japanese community that lived and farmed strawberries here before WWII. They were taken away during the war to internment camps. As I strolled the gardens there was a labyrinth with lanterns hung and intermittent Haiku streaming from pages strung with clothes pins as well. I was inspired to write these poems below.

I.

Immigrants settle

Growing fields of strawberries

Taken and interned

II.

War has many faces

Death and life roll through the land

Tears flow unending

III.

When will we return?

Children speak our unspoken words

Can hearts hope again?

IV.

Some return, rebuild

Life twists and turns with the sun

Trauma stays within

We took several hikes, this one runs along Shingle Mill Creek to Fern Cove.

They clear-cut cedar

Giants turned to roof shingles

The forest still grieves

Categories: beauty, Birds, children, grief and death, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Raven

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

Flew to the tip of the garage

Standing there now

In front of us

Outside our window

Your message from the One who loves:

I am here

Standing guard

Leading you

In this work

In this way

Pay attention

Step by step

Look for me

You will find me

When you search

With all your heart

I am for you

I am renewing the earth

And it’s peoples

Don’t be afraid

I am with you

I see you

Even when you

Cannot see me

Look for me

Pay attention

Categories: Birds, Faith, God, Hope, Love, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Even in a Pandemic

Even in a pandemic

You can be kind

You can listen

You can learn

You can watch as the sun sets

Changing the colors of the sky

The light changing in the tree tops

Beauty can still take your breath away

Even in a pandemic

You can remember

You can give thanks

You can listen to the bird song

And wonder at the many voices

You can pray

You can vote

You can change

© Julie Clark 2020

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, growth, Poetry, Prayer, Trees | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bird Lessons

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Robins

Everywhere

On the wet grass

On the roof tops

In the air

Plenty of worms

For all

In this rich soil

On this fertile hill

No scarcity mentality

Just take what you need

For you and your family

Leave the rest

For the other birds

Residents and guest

Passing through

No need for hoarding

Or commodifying

These tasty treats

Oh that we would

Study the birds

And the fields 

And the trees

Like our ancestors

Like Jesus

Learn a new way

An ancient way

Leading to 

The path of life

The eagles on Sunday

Circling the waters

Taking turns

Diving for the fish

Over and over

Repeating the pattern

Again and again

The message is clear

Perseverance

Don’t give up.

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: Birds, Faith, Hope, Life, Paths, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Yesterday

Yesterday

I checked in with little Julie

You know, my inner child

There she was 

In her little dress

Sticking close to me

Every now and again

She would hold onto

The sides of her dress

And do a little twirl or

A little sashay

Then she would sit down

Again on the step

And keep her eye on me

She likes the quiet

She loves the bird song

She’s a little shy

A little skittish

She knows 

It is not safe out there

Too loud

Too confusing

Too dangerous

She is sticking 

Close to home

Close to me

Where she feels safe

© Julie Clark

Categories: Birds, children, Life, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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