Thursday, April 14, 2005


Yesterday afternoon the Cedar Waxwings kept calling me, but I had to stay inside because the taxes weren't finished.


Four Tao philosophers as cedar waxwings
chat on a February berry bush
in sun, and I am one.

Such merriment and such sobriety--
the small wild fruit on the tall stalk--
was this not always my true style?

Above an elegance of snow, beneath
a silk-blue sky a brotherhood of four
birds. Can you mistake us?

To sun, to feast, and to converse
and all together--for this I have abandoned
all my other lives.

-Robert Francis

The picture is from last year. Thanks to Jenni for telling me about this poem. It says so much about waxwings that is true.


Pamela said...

Thanks for this great picture and poem! I didn't know this poem, but do know "Blue Jay." It's a fabulous poem, too.

Jean said...

Wow. I've been wondering what waxwings looked like every since I read and loved Jonathan Raban's novel of that name. So beautiful.

Rhodent said...

Your pictures continue to amaze me. I would love to take some bird pictures that clear and close! Cedar Waxwings are very handsome birds, I think.

Lorianne said...

I love waxwings...and this picture captures them so beautifully!

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all.

Pamela, I'm not familiar with that one - will try to look it up. (Or maybe you can tell me who it's by if you drop by again.)

Jean I wish I could've given you more detail on the bird. They have shiny red and yellow parts on their wings and tail that look as though they'd been dipped in brightly colored wax. They have a very high-pitched call, which they make it all the time! I love to hear it.

Rho, the only way I got that close is that I was sneaky. And that was before we had the dog! :) Waxwings are a lot "tamer" than many other birds, and you can approach closer.

Thanks Lorianne! I really rarely ever see ONE waxwing. They are always with or near their flock.

Oh yeah there is another waxwing - Bohemian waxwing, that looks a lot like this one. But even in winter they don't come this far south in the east.

Pamela said...

Rurality--I posted the "Blue Jay" poem on my blog--it's also by Robert Francis. If you want to check it out, I'd be glad to have SOMEONE actually read a post!


Rurality said...

Thanks for posting that Pamela!