Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Among Blackbirds

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
-Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens aside (not easily done), there are few sights I know as magical as blackbirds after harvest. On Rabbit Hill they gather, sometimes perhaps a thousand, as if I could count, and they fly, weaving and looping as one body then divide to several, settling in trees to watch or among the corn rows to gorge on "nature's" bounty. I marvel at the precision of their movements and wonder, is there a leader? ...or does the flock think as a single brain? It does seem so. With such thoughts I watch the birds, one-by-one, leave the trees, each bird choosing its own moment to rejoin the crowd among the cornrows.

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
-Wallace Stevens