Saturday, June 24, 2017

Jack Scott writes

Birds in Morning Mazatlán

Colors set in silence, gems of sound
struck by master jeweler in crystal air
is birdsong.
Listen at your peril.
This music flies into your mind
through an open door or window
and remains there fluttering,
an echo of itself lingering
until some magic trick of time
spirits it away
to your quieted relief.

So it is in driving
through bird-embedded countryside,
of airborne multitudes
winking in and out of sound and sight,
as if we have flown in
through their window into their private space
as big as all outdoors.

On we drove through both the land
and our imagination
to the grotto market at the sea
where everything not sold and owned
was for sale or, for enough, for sale again.
Three prices for each object offered,
Dopplered from each seller's mouth,
the first as you approach,
another while you’re there,
the last addressed to your retreat.
Ahead, at least three sellers hovering,
behind, three hagglers haggling.

I always thought that birds were free,
but here were birds that weren’t:            
blackbirds, finches, sparrows,
a mockingbird, cardinals, and a robin,
parrots, parakeets, macaws and toucans
everywhere imprisoned in all kinds of cages:  
penitentiaries of 2x4s and hardware cloth
overkill for these tiny prisoners,
woven reed and bamboo cells,
ornate metallic birdcages.
Such a clamor, what cacophony;
every instrument in that orchestra
playing from a different score.

Are these songbirds flying meat to eat,
or prisoners for milady’s parlor
captured for their music and their color,
or, as I prefer to think,
to be given as a gift,
a token of affection
like flowers prised from chill, thin air
of mountainside
that would wilt and die and rot
between cantaloupe and carrot,
not a gift to imprison
or a meal?

One purpose of the bird
according to its catchers
is to be caged and marketed.
My purpose is to buy it
and place it in your hands,
whereupon you loose it
in simple ceremony,
feeling in that gesture
something like the bird,
freed to its native state,
not looking back,
hopefully forgetting
its incarceration.

It is barbarian,
however many smiles it brings to tourists,
to - bluntly put -
trap and hold  life hostage
simply to recycle it.

folk art painting - vintage bark painting - vibrant - exotic -tropical bird - pink flowers - yellow bird

1 comment:

  1. Mazatlán comes from the Nahuatl for "Land of deer." The city was founded in 1531 on the Pacific coast, across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula. Originally, the Presidio de Mazatlán was used as a reference for shipping to the port, known as the Islas de Mazatlán, but the presidio was renamed Villa de la Union in 1828 and the city took the name of the port. It served as the capital of the Mexican state of Sinaloa from 1859 to 1873, after the federal government passed a law that forbade state capitals to also act as ports. By the mid-19th century, a large group of immigrants had arrived from Germany, who developed it into a thriving commercial seaport, and their Bavarian folk tunes evolved into the local "banda" music. During the Mexican Revolution, Venustiano Carranza ordered a biplane to drop a crude bomb of nails and dynamite wrapped in leather on Neveria Hill, adjacent to the downtown area, but it landed on the city streets instead, killing two citizens and wounding others; it was thus the second city after Tripoli, Libya, to suffer aerial bombardment.
    Christian Doppler was an Austrian mathematician and physicist who, in 1842, postulated that the observed frequency of a wave depends on the relative speed of the source and the observer, which he used to explain the color of binary stars. Three years later the Dutch chemist Christophorus Henricus Diedericus Buys Ballot (who also explained the direction of air flow in large weather systems and devised a tabular method for investigating periodicity in time series to determine the period of the sun's rotation) tested the Doppler effect for sound waves by using a group of musicians playing a calibrated note on a train, confirming that the sound's pitch was higher than the emitted frequency when the sound source approached him and lower than the emitted frequency when the sound source receded from him. In 1848 the French physicist Hippolyte Fizeau discovered the same phenomenon on electromagnetic waves and predicted the red and blue shifting of light waves. He also corrected many of Doppler's persistent errors and developed the formal mathematical theorem underlying the effect's principles. (In France, the effect is called the "effet Doppler-Fizeau.") During the Hungarian Revolution in 1848 Doppler fled to Vienna and taught science to Gregor Mendel.


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