Friday, 1 May, 2020
The Feathers Project -
See how our "Hope is the thing with feathers" gallery grows.
We are looking forward to receiving your contribution, too: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on a picture and stroll through the Feathers exhibition.
What The Bird Knows
I wonder what the bird knows
The red chested finch
A cheerful troubadour
Jumping from branch to branch
In the tree with purple flowers
That almost died ten years ago
Does the red chested finch miss
The humming chant to its a cappella song
The constant buzz of nonstop traffic?
Does air drift lighter through its feathers?
Is it easier for the finch to breathe?
Does the red chested finch feel toxic droplets?
Is rain heavier on its wings?
Is uncertainty an aroma it can smell?
Is compassion a scent it picks up
With fluffy dandelion seeds?
I wonder what the wild dog knows
The long legged coyote
A solitary traveler
Roaming the neighborhood at night
On streets of black asphalt
With cracks, holes and haphazard patches
Does the long legged coyote miss
The intruders on its path
Hikers in parks and mountain ranges?
Does it prowl empty shopping malls?
Is it easier for the coyote to find sleep in its den?
Does the long legged coyote feel lethal perspiration?
Is fog denser on its fur?
Is fear an aroma it can smell?
Is love a scent it picks up
With rotten lemons from back yards?
I wonder what the whale knows
The big finned humpback
A mother with its young
Breaching in front of empty beaches
From underwater canyons
Filled with mangrove forests and eternal calm
Does the big finned humpback miss
The boats coming out
To watch it leap, twist, fall and splash?
Does the wave it breaks through have more power?
Is it easier for the whale to moan its song?
Does the big finned humpback glide through poisoned water?
Is kelp it swims in stained with parasites?
Is worry an aroma it can smell?
Is courage a scent it picks up
With krill from the ocean’s face?
The red chested finch
Collects twigs for its nest
From the tree with purple flowers
In front of my window
It turns its head
It looks at me
Does the red chested finch wonder
What I know?
The Birth of the Winged Monkey King
The fruit was like a small sun. The monkey had plucked it from the highest branch of the tree.
It was soft as young fur and cold as a mountain spring. The size of an orange, with the same sweet aroma, it shone like a yellowish star. The monkey gazed at it, his eyes wide open.
If there were howls, warnings, chatter from other creatures, he did not hear them. He only saw the fruit that blazed without blazing, that was cradled in his hands without burning, that stung his eyes without blinding. A fruit, perhaps more diamond than sun, more mineral than light; its veins like tiny rivers so crystal clear they ought to sate all hunger, all thirst, all of the desires that made the monkey's mouth water.
He had to bite into it. He wanted to eat it.
He could not bite into it. He wanted to swallow it whole.
He was going to devour it.
When he raised it to his mouth and sniffed at it, his pupils dilated so that they covered the entire insides of his eyes.
When he swallowed it, he was flooded by the delightful sensation of ripe nectar, the itch of the midday sun, the chill of the wind on the tops.
His dark fur started to gleam, and he took on a bluish blackness.
Like a crow.
Two orange halos illuminated the fine irises of his eyes, which resembled two eclipsed suns.
And he started to bellow.
The other monkeys did not know whether those cries were born of agony or pleasure. The monkey jumped from branch to branch; he wanted to join them, but when they saw his
shining fur and the eclipses in his eyes, they did not know him and ran away.
He felt something buried deep within his back.
There was no one behind.
He felt another tear, beneath the shoulder.
Nothing. He was alone.
No one had wounded him. It was yet another effect of the fruit, the sun, the diamond, the fiery sphere he had swallowed whole.
His bones twisted, snaps and groans were heard, but his back pained him only in two twin wounds, two cracks, two sores: two moist, black wings that sprouted from behind; larger
than his arms and legs, as blue-black as his fur.
And he was able to shake them, like he shook his arms.
And he felt they were strong, like his prehensile tail.
And when he leaped into the air, he never fell, ever again.
The world's first winged monkey.
They heard a great chattering and flapping of wings,
as the band of Winged Monkeys flew up to them.
The King bowed low before Dorothy, and asked, "What is your command?"
"We wish to go to the Emerald City," said the child, "and we have lost our way."
FRANK BAUM, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900
A Spring To Remember
With the humming bird growing
In a nest on our back porch
With walks through our neighborhood
In the middle of the streets
Magnolias, gooseberries, poppies, sage
Works of art in open air
The first peace rose blossoming in the front yard
After days of California rain
Lemons picked from forbidden trees
Under a full moon
With the apple tart
The blueberry cake
The oatmeal raisin cookies
The lemon bundt loaf
And their aroma filling our house
With afternoons spent in the backyard
Hands sticky from orange juice
The fruit straight of the branch
A single hammer echoing through the air
An owl hooting
Dandelions going wild between grass.
And letting them
Weeds growing in every crack
Seeing all the cracks
And loving them
With the red bandana that used to be a blindfold
Covering my nose and mouth
The self-made disinfectant
From aloe vera harvested in our back yard
The cancelled trip to Hawaii
The government check that did not arrive
Exhausted doctors and caregivers
We thank hitting pots and pans at eight
With the longing
To have fish tacos and a wild berry mojito
While watching sail boats gliding home
To dance to a live band
To dive into waves
This spring of 2020.
I will remember
With a humming bird growing
In a nest on our back porch.
Gabriel Schmitz, German painter, living and working in Barcelona, Spain:
"Sketchbook done during the first four weeks of the confinement at home in Barcelona, from March to early April 2020. With a beautiful original soundtrack by Sarah Schueddekopf: '
You made me see it all in a new and different light, many thanks for that!'
Find out more about Sarah's music at www.saxophone-art.de