This poem (of sorts) is the result of the intersection of two events – one was a dear friend from the foothills calling to ask me to translate a short phrase into Latin for her so she could paint it on a river rock as a gift for her sister, and the other was hearing a loon out on the lake rather early the following morning. As a result of the first, I had to dust off my old study books. Hui—it’s been a long time! And Latin is very fussy, for a dead language. For the second event, I had to put a rain-jacket on over my nightie (not complete coverage) and head out with my binoculars. The call was so distant and my ear so sleepy, I thought at first it might be a red-bellied woodpecker, but once I stood at the edge of the breakwall, one ear to the trees behind me, and one to the open lake, the call was unmistakably coming from far out on the rain-shrouded water, and unquestionably a loon. The process of hearing and identifying the call kind of reminded me of the Latin declensions I’d recently reviewed for my friend. I’m not exactly sure it qualifies as a poem. Maybe it’s just a wonky Latin exercise made up by a damp, yawning, under-caffeinated birdwatcher…
nom: A loon is calling in the morning rain gen: A loon’s laughter is tumbling across the quiet lake dat: I searched for the loon through binoculars acc: I listened to the loon with rapt attention, longing to be abl: let in on the joke by the loon but alas— voc: O loon! What’s so funny; is it my bare white legs shining on the shore?
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.