Jennifer Chesnut wrote Little Bird while doing what she does every morning after rising – looking out of the window, processing dreams, watching birds and writing poetry. This particular morning, she noticed how sweet the sparrows were in their brown jackets and was reflecting on how much they soothe her heart in a compromised world.
There’s a little bouquet of a bird
with a softly sloping belly
on top of the telephone pole again.
Every day I start living
with this silhouette of freedom
taped to the fridge of my mind.
I say thanks:
to the birds, to the trees, to the one world
of which we’re all part of.
Even when I forget.
Even when the dreams draw me down
to the deep cellars of sleep,
bound in boxes of memory,
sore to the soul of the bones.
How disfigured the mind can become
from the constant exposure to the high heat of greed,
the whole house on fire!
So I wake and I sit with my notebook and a pen.
I wait and watch for the soft-bellied birds
who rise and flit every morning
with seeds in their beaks
and molecules of praise tucked under their wings.
What else could make them fly?
Sure, they have hollow bones
and carry the perfect DNA for joy.
I listen too to their pure calls.
I remember them later when the day gets dark.
Watching well is part of the necessary work.
Jennifer Chesnut lives in the Great Lakes region of Canada. Jennifer works as a teacher and teacher-trainer in environmental and social justice education. She is completing a thesis in transforming ecological grief and is using known works in sacred poetry to tell the story. She believes that processing our pain for the world together can allow us to draw from our reserves of care and justice. Jennifer writes poetry to connect with Gaia. She practices mindfulness in the tradition of Engaged Buddhism.