On the porch in blueblack suit a grackle walks
By water bowl, his dull brown spouse cackles, stalks
In circles near the trees their family talks

In the shadows of the leaves stands birdbath waterbowl
Through the branches and the leaves come waterfowl
The wind walks through the leaves and branches roll

It’s suppertime, and I reach out to you across a casserole
Outside, we hear the grackles talk to waterfowl
And through the silence we talk with words and soul

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011* All Rights Reserved

Posted again for article on common speech 12.13.13;
I thought this my best example. I also wrote Self Portrait at Seven
which I posted for #OLN Tuesday as an effort to achieve this voice of mine.
I wrote another for today, but as poems often do it resisted my attempt
to do what I needed it to.

If you’ve read this before don’t feel compelled to comment.

50 thoughts on “Communion

  1. Most vivid image here, Gay, for me is the blue back suit, and the waterfoul, which is so expressive of the birdbath communion cacklng away as the humans find their own peace in an everyday moment masked in that substitute chatter. Very creative use of repetition, words(water) combined with others, subtly changing (bowl, foul) and that line “the wind walks through the trees and branches roll” is just exquisite.But this is a beautiful poem that deserves better than to be picked at and analyzed–it should be read and savored and lived with instead. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I’ve been studying, listening, of late. This poem fit right into an exercise I’ve been practicing.
    I loved this poem. The action/scene/sounds outside speak symbolically for the couple, or memory, of the couple, inside. More people should be silent and allow nature to speak, but I doubt that was your theme.
    I loved the rhymes, aliterations, and the repetitions of certain key words.
    My only critique, which is very minor, and only a critique if you read the poem literally is the semi-close to POV shift from the first and second stanzas to the third. And wondering why you were speaking for “we” in the third stanza. BUT, if the MC is alone at the suppertable, and the birds outside are echoing or triggering memories of a lost or missing love, then bravo, you nailed it. At any rate, even if I am waaaay off base, this is a top notch poem I am proud to be associated with in a being in the group kind of way. Most excellent. I enjoyed the tenderness in which it flowed as I read. Very, very good!

    • Oh Henry, I think you may have thought about this a bit more than I did. Maybe it was subconscious at that. My friend, housemate, and partner is rather far inside himself these days and I often feel I am alone. I think I probably should have said “we” but as I own the house, I do sort of think of it as mine. Hmmm.??

      • Ha. I always overthink. This was an outstanding piece and I should have left it at that. Anyway, always a pleasure reading the gems you post. They always inspire me to be a better writer.

  3. A tender and searching write that left me feeling intensely the inner dialogue (even unwritten). I didn’t notice the repetitions which I attribute to your skilled crafting. I agree with Joy, a poem to be savored and experienced in the true sense. Like those moments in life where we are truly present, a sort of miraculous piece really.

  4. such a beautiful capture of a moment’s magic gay…love your tender pen in this..the structure lulls me in and makes me wish i could’ve sat next to you…and off-topic…so wish we had porches where i live…

    • Yes, I felt quite tender. Yesterday was a good day in terms of getting Ron to eat, and fortunately he woke up hungry for the first time in months. I made french toast and eggs for him and he got down all but one bit in addition to a milk drink made with ensure a fortified drink. He has to take in at least 3K calories a day in order to heal and really at this point survive. We’re standing on a brink here and I have felt helpless. Day before yesterday, decided to “take the bull by the horns” as we Texans say. No more letting him decide. I started making decisions for him. He is quite simply too weak to think straight.

      • hugs….
        enjoyed the re-read gay… it feels like a song…a hymn… the gentle rhymes…the rhythm… loved it… and thanks for tending bar tonite… and thanks for being who you are….

  5. I like the subtle repetitive words.. the images of the grackles and waterbowls are wonderful images.. more telling than the couple inside the house.

    Love this fine example ~

  6. A beautiful capture of life inside and out.
    Loved saying the first line out loud…
    On my porch in blueblack suit a grackle walks
    By waterbowl…
    the last line made me ache…
    through the silence we talk with words and soul

  7. Gay, my friend, this has both a wonderful flow and a lot of soul, not just in the final line. I don’t know if you used “casserole” simply for the rhyme, but it does much more than that, invoking warmth, delicious smells, fullness and love. Wonderful stuff.

    My mother used to mistakenly call grackles starlings, so until I was an adult I did too. Now I know they are grackles and starlings are those smaller, even plainer scavengers. Grackles do have that blueish accent, though, and I rather like them. The repetition here puts me in mind of exactly how birds walk, tilt their heads, and circle around a thing before alighting.

    • I wrote this rather quickly after reading Joy’s article. I am considering Chinese Love Poems for next Form and had been reading some. Looked out the window and came up with this. I was making a casserole. Trying hard to compress as many calories in as small a volume as possible. Casserole was on my mind and I used it. It was very much an “in the minute” poem. Wonder if I should leave my in first stanza or change to “our”. Can’t decide. Hmm. Thank you for coming by and commenting. Love having you as a guest 🙂

  8. i bet that crackle was after your casserole

    a tuna casserole in alfredo sauce
    and…a rhubarb pie for dessert
    i’ll take that over a texas barbecue
    it’s too humid for too much smoke
    especially if you live along the coast

    • They are ubiquitous here and in our Live Oak tree outside the door. They’ll eat anything and steal anything too. They’re a little bit crow, and a little bit magpie I think. They have about a jillion different cries. It makes for interesting mornings when they’re most loquacious.

  9. quite simply a lovely, focused lyric– a private and mythic world in a sense with each thing counting for the poem’s tenderness. I loved these invoking lines:

    In the shadows of the leaves stands birdbath waterbowl
    Through the branches and the leaves come waterfoul
    The wind walks through the leaves and branches roll

    curious– waterfoul or waterfowl? xxxj

  10. oy was reading your comments to catch up with where you are at…good job taking hte bull by the horns…i am sorry though that he is so weak….nice capture of the moment in verse gay…sorry i am so late…just getting home and playing a bit of catch up…the language just tends to roll like waves as i read this….

  11. Gay, I love the scene you have set here. (I see that I had visited it once before.) I like the idea of grackles talking to waterfowl; but most of all I like the idea of having a conversation over a casserole. Thanks for hosting today.

  12. Makes me wish I had gone for rhyme. Such lovely end words.
    A question of time though:
    “If I’d had more time, my poem would have been shorter”.

  13. “And through the silence we talk with words and soul – ”

    I read your poem over and over again – such a great impact of the ending. Loved it in a way that I can’t explain.

  14. I remember when I first moved to this little town — with its quaint New England downtown digs, created so to attract tourists bored of Disney — I heard about a poetry night at a bookstore there and went one early Saturday night. All the poets were much older, and one, looking like a retired English professor, read three poems about birds in his yard. How … quaint … I thought, wondering whether to read the poem about Moby Dick’s penis or the one about how my wife’s nephew died. But I was just a slow learner, and I love most poems that find the magnitude in the simplest intimacies, the rarest places for a roaming soul to linger. There really is nothing more than this communion of the sayable and unsaid.

  15. its amazing sometimes to see how such glimpses give an insight into the inmates and their ‘home’. We are all inter-connected howsoever much we rattle about our independence!

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