field notes ➤ Alexander Posey, circa 1897

❝ To a Hummingbird

Now here, now there;
E’er poised somewhere
In sensuous air.
I only hear, I cannot see
The matchless wings that beareth thee.
Art thou some frenzied poet’s thought,
That God embodied and forgot?

To the Crow

Caw, caw, caw,
Thou bird of ebon hue,
Above the slumb’rous valley spread in flight,
On wings that flash defiance back at light,
A speck against the blue,
A-vanishing.

Caw, caw, caw,
Thou bird of common sense,
Far, far in lonely distance leaving me,
Eluded, with a shout of mockery
For all my diligence
At evening.

The Blue Jay

The silence of the golden afternoon
Is broken by the chatter of the jay.
What season finds him when he is not gay,
Light-hearted, noisy, singing out of tune,
High-crested, blue as is the sky of June?
‘Tis autumn when he comes; the hazy air.
Half-hiding like a veil, lies ev’rywhere,
Full of memories of summer soon
To fade; leaves, losing hold upon the tree,
Fly helpless in the wintry wind’s unrest;
The goldenrod is burning low and fitfully;
The squirrel leaves his leafy summer nest,
Descends and gathers up the nuts that drop,
When lightly shaken, from the hick’ry top.

To a Robin

Out in the Golden air,
Out where the skies are fair,
I hear a song of gladness,
With never a note of sadness.
Ring out thy heart’s delight,
And mine of every sorrow!
Sing, sweet bird, till the night,
And come again tomorrow.

To the Indian Meadow Lark

When other birds despairing southward fly,
In early autumn time away;
When all the green leaves of the forest die,
How merry still art thou, and gay.

O! golden breasted bird of dawn,
Through all the bleak days singing on,
Till winter, wooed a captive by thy strain,
Breaks into smiles, and Spring is come again.

The Bluebird

A winged bit of Indian sky
Strayed hither from its home on high. ❞

Song of the Oktahutche: Collected Poems
by Alexander Posey
edited by Matthew Wynn Sivils
(University of Nebraska Press, 2008)

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