|<- Back to main page|
by Charles Weld
Shivaree rings out and up from the back-yard trees
as a group of winter finches delivers up shurees
in chorus. Fricative, an adjective Aretas Saunders seized
upon, describes the sound of their collective wheeze,
the hoarseness of its whisper, as if it had been squeezed
out through a mouth or nose. It’s not by being unimpeded
that music’s made. Obstruction is needed—
stricture, friction—not spacious chambers that help ease
passage. Pine Siskins are made for winter’s adversity.
They pack extra fat, and are able to vary
metabolic speed to meet the rigors of many degrees
below zero. Much of the world’s beauty, for me,
is in how things bend to necessity, greet reality
rather than bear it, when hardship’s what reality guarantees.