Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Starling Tree

The Starling tree calls...
to a creature from a far off realm...the Southlands...
where is this place of warm climes
and do you bid a lowly traveler from afar
a welcome...
This hardy Nor'lund is only home to the constant,
oh come, ye Pilgrim,
face the trials that I set
and you will be rewarded at trails end.
A wonder'lund of free-spirit
and a mighty calm
to ease your weary soul.
I am home to the winds
and sanctuary to the meek.
Shelter among my outstretched arms,
for my Lordship is here to share...
in the caves of my hollow trunk,
my living soul of refuge from the storm.

I have a magical tree in my yard, the Catalpa Tree...each year the Starlings come and their constant chattering awakens me to their arrival. Many consider the Starling a menace, but I consider each species as having evolved into their own particular niche in the structure of life, as is my old Catalpa Tree. In the South the trees are prized for their big juicy caterpillars that are wonderful for fishing...GROSS. When I was a child, I had to walk by an old Catalpa on my way to school, that was loaded with the worms, smashed all over the sidewalk, by uncaring little boys, I'm sure...

The tree has huge 10 inch, heart-shaped leaves and produces the most wonderfully fragrant white blossoms in the spring, making a time-out on my porch thinking chair, a pleasure to dream in. The buds also produce a 12 inch long bean, which we have used in floral arrangements. Many consider this a nuisance too, but again, there is purpose.

The tree was struck by lightning back in the day, as were many of my large trees, which leads me to think I have a vain of underground water flow that attracts the balls of fire and did you know, also the Faeries. But my Starling Tree lives on, though half the tree is withered, it is home to countless baby Starlings and a host of baby squirrels...whose sole purpose in life is to drive Scratchy insane...and they do and to pilfer seeds from the bird feeders. Now if I could just figure a way to get rid of their fleas, so Scratchy wouldn't pick them up in the yard...maybe garlic in the birdfeeders...ha!

My yard, all 6 acres, is my sanctuary to Nature. A place of refuge and a magical home to my child-like fantasies. It allows me the vision to create in a peaceful environment of my own creation. As I sit here writing, one of my intrepid squirrels is showing off his skill at walking the tightrope cross'd power lines, what a hoot...and a pleasure to share my domain with. Tall grasses and scrub trees, not the perfectly sculpted landscape of my piers...but then again, I have only one pier...the power and goodness of the Universe. My eye sees a different world, as my neighbor asks...'why don't you mow your grass'...and I reply...'why do you mow yours???'

But I am content in knowing that I am different in this landscape of the living, to be allowed to plant brush-piles for harboring birds and bunnies from my neighbors ravaging cats and the cold Arctic blasts that hammer my world.

So enjoy the bits and pieces of my wanderings, as I sit and write and wait for the 3-5 inches of snow they say we are due...such is life in the Nor'lunds.
Updates...the snows have begun...
Scratchy 7-mouse 0


willow said...

What a magnificent old tree! I have a thing for trees, especially ones like yours that have been around for a while. Wonderful poem.

Lisa B. said...

I love Catalpa trees and wild things and your poems! Thanks for sharing:)

Charmingdesigns said...

What a tree, but I LOVE your birdhouse!! Laurie

M.Kate said...

Thanks for sharing Sharon...the tree does look a little spooky to me though :)

Christie said...

That's a great looking tree, almost more interesting without leaves. Cute birdhouse too.

The Muse said...

Somehow I feel drawn to walks in the woods are the balm of my spirit...

Enthralled with your work...&
So happy to have found you :)

Greyscale Territory said...

I can just imagine you sitting in your evolving world and enjoying its faces and atmospheres.

Lovely post!

And, of course you may use my blackbird photo for a drawing! I would be highly honoured. When I took that photo, I felt the little guy was different somehow. maybe it was just the aura of his youth shining around him.

Richie's 2ts Inspires said...

Really nice words.

Seems am reading a book & wish you can write couples.

Enjoy ur w/k.

High Desert Diva said...

I so enjoy reading your posts. A lesson on the Catalpa Tree (which I'm sure I've never seen) and a like-minded sense of what 'yard' means.

Query - "Why don't you have a lawn?"

Answer - "This ain't a golf course, baby."

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Sharon. Did you know that certain Native American tribes feel it is the worst luck to touch a lightening burn? Only the tribal shaman can use it's power. I didn't know that but now I'm careful not to;)