Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Susan Taylor Brown - In My Backyard

In My Backyard
Susan Taylor Brown

iridescent wings dip, dive
between branches
of the scraggly Toyon bush
not yet six feet tall

pointed beak
weaves bits of moss
with spider webs
tucks in a single strand of grass
a dainty dandelion seed
then flies away

cat quiet, I creep
tiny nest cradles
tiny eggs, two
no bigger than my thumb

whirling wings
hum hello
now go
she settles, spreads
herself atop the eggs
watches me
watching her

the wind blows, blustering
never flustering her
she sways a branch dance
keeping safe
tiny nest
tiny eggs
where rainbows wait to hatch

© Susan Taylor Brown. All rights reserved.

I've known Susan Taylor Brown and her poetry for a few years online and off. Her novel in poems, Hugging the Rock, is a moving, wonderful read, and her poems and blog entries over time have been everything from jaw-dropping to helpful to fantastic to motivating with a few other stops in between. The common trait, I think, is that I react to what Susan writes - it's not, for me, a passive process, and that's a really good thing.

Susan's poem and the photo you see here are part of something unfolding in Susan's backyard (no surprise!) right now and on Facebook and elsewhere for the rest of us. She's brought the situation to life so fully that I care about this single hummingbird who should truly have no place in my life. I check Susan's Facebook feed to see what's new. I get excited when there are updates. And darn it, I'm emotionally involved. That is, for me, all about the power of her writing, and just one reason why I'm so happy to have Susan Taylor Brown here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, we had Steve: A Cautionary Tale from Bruce Coville. Tomorrow, Field Trip from Ron Koertge! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Tabatha said...


tanita✿davis said...

I have missed hummingbirds in the UK. There is NOTHING like them here. Nothing.

The magic of having them visit my house daily was unmatched. If I had wee eggs and family setting up shop, I think I might cry.

Definitely hatching rainbows. Lovely.

Joanna said...

I have been following the almost daily photo updates on Facebook of the Mom-to-be.... Absolutely gorgeous and wonder-inspiring as is today's poem. Thank you.

Linda B said...

Wow, Greg, I'm going to find this Facebook page. Beautiful poem by Susan, especially that "waiting for rainbows to hatch". Thanks.

KateCoombs said...

Such nice details--you put us right there! And that last line is perfect.

jama said...

Gorgeous poem! I love the Lily updates on FB. Exquisite images here, shining details.

violet said...

As I read, I wondered how she was going to top all the lovely details with an ending. That 'rainbow' is perfect!

Liz Brownlee said...

Oh, lovely! Really enjoyed this.

Tanita, we do have kingfishers - and hummingbird moths!

Liz Brownlee said...

Oh, lovely! Really enjoyed this.

Tanita, we do have kingfishers - and hummingbird moths!

Amy LV said...

"tiny eggs
where rainbows wait to hatch"

Of COURSE Lily had to be the star of today's poem! Following Susan's Facebook moments with Lily has made Facebook completely worth it. Beautiful testament to slowing down, watching, waiting.

Thank you both!


laurasalas said...

What a gorgeous tribute to Lily. I'm sad those rainbows won't get to hatch...

I love the details here--the dainty dandelion seed, the whirling wings...beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I love the poem, and the pictures it brings to my mind.. Thank you Lily and Susan for sharing..

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Thank you all for the kind words and the support on my Lily adventure. I'm glad you've enjoyed the photos and that you liked the poem.

I do wish the story had a happier ending but nature is oh so often cruel.

Anonymous said...

Love it...and rainbows return, in their own time. "Hope is the thing with feathers..."

Robyn Hood Black said...

Oh! - "cat quiet" and "she sways a branch dance" - such luscious, lively writing. I am sorry to learn of an unhappy ending; these words will preserve the magic. Thank you, Greg and Susan.

Elaine Magliaro said...


You're poem is perfect--from beginning to end! It's an excellent example of how observing nature around us can provide us us with rich material for writing poetry.

debbi michiko florence said...

Susan, I love this so much! It brings tears to my eyes, now knowing what happened. Special memories to hold always! xoxoxox

Anonymous said...

Lovely wordplay as delicately balanced as the tiny bird you've captured so beautifully. Well done, Susan.