The Opalescent Swallow

As you have no doubt figured by now, I hold down a steady gig with the good folks at Tweetspeak Poetry. I don't always cross-post to my stuff there, but I was particularly fond of today's piece and thought I'd share it. (By the way, thanks for bearing with me during this moving phase. The Haines house is neck deep in foam peanuts.) In Randy Laney’s field, the grasshoppers and katydids rubbed leg against forewing, and wing against wing; their songs were the rising crescendos and falling diminuendos of one thousand cabinet doors creaking opened and closed, and opened and closed again–all in rhythm, ad infinitum. In the center of the field, from the knee-high grass, rose three poles, which climbed some twenty feet to their terminus where the Purple Martin tenements balanced. The homes were white-washed over winter because, as Randy Laney said, the miniature siding was beginning to splotch green with age and the Purple Martin is a well-to-do bird, a passerine with no fancy for the unkempt.

The male Martin perched on a white-sheathed wire connecting his condominium to the next, the opalescent swallow gleaming as if freshly oiled, as if being greased to slide through the remarkably undersized front door of his summer home. He clung to the line, chippering and cheeping toward us. It was a welcome, not a warning.

Continue reading at Tweetspeak.  Photo by  Jenny Downing, Creative Commons via Flickr.