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July 2001 Musings: The Veery Thrush

Okay, I know I’m way behind in my musings. So far behind that one might even have cause to think that I have not been musing. I have managed to fit some idle thoughts in here and there, just not managed to get them to Rose to post here. It’s been a busy spring and summer – the last you heard from me the snow had not yet fully melted! But indeed summer has reached even the hilltowns of western Massachusetts.

I have been busy, balancing concerts and practicing (Dana Robinson is north for the summer for duo concerts) and the work of the music business with enjoying my kids and tending to my yard and finding fleeting moments to enjoy the gorgeous weather, with a swim here and a woods walk there.

My biggest music news is that my third recording There’s a Light is now back in print in CD format! This is cause for great celebration, as it’s been out of print for several years. This album, produced in 1985 by famed Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham, was originally released on Green Linnet Records. It includes my interpretation of Bob Franke’s wonderful song “For Real,” and the first Jane Yolen poem that I set to music, the haunting “Ballad of the White Seal Maid.” I am exceedingly grateful to my friends Paul and Sue Wanner for making its re-release possible. See my recordings page for a complete list of songs and to order your copy.

One fun accomplishment of the spring: I have learned the name of the bird whose song I have loved yet who has eluded me these four years I’ve lived next to these woods. Here is a poem I wrote shortly after making the discovery:

Veery Named

The veery calls me
to the woods.

These four years she has lured me
with her sweet descending whir
her summons a spiraling
“Sundown! The day slips by!”
ever must I obey.

Only lately have I learned her name –
her name as beautiful as her song:

Tonight, yet again,
her call lures me
from my indoor inertia.

I find myself descending
spiraling down the trail
sung by her melody
deeper and deeper
into the woods.

The deeper she sings me
the deeper the joy wells in me.
Other songbirds yet unnamed
enchant me with their evensong.
Have they called me to their vespers?
My feet dance on the trail
all burdens lifted.

Sing me home now veery
I am yours.
All trouble flows
Only joy remains.

And more recently:

Veery is Canny

Rose breasted grosbeak
graces my feeder
my favorite of the clearing birds
that trust my window
for the black oil sunflower seed.

Veery, though,
veery is canny
he tucks away from my sight
and will not show himself to me.
Still, as I pass beneath the
forest canopy,
he trills his song
with its flute-like
descending spiral.

My ear delights
my heart ascends
and ascends
to reach beyond its highest note.

Where could more bliss await me
than in the woods
of the veery thrush?

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Quite warmly, Lui

Posted in Musings

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