Eagles on Willow Island

Eagles on Willow Island Winter Birds 2017, not mentioned in the freefall

LISTENING Number 10 “Winter birds”

It’s warmer Leonard wherever you are

its warmer here than Winnipeg
and like a bird on a wire
I can’t hear a damn thing


Jake MacDonald I remember Jake.

Test test test dictating in threes



I listened to Schafer’s string quartet #10 and did a freefall or stream of conscious dictation which generated about 60 lines which I have broken unedited into 30 couplets, about 1000 words. Now I will do it again maybe typing instead of dictating. Same thing, end up with stream of conscious couples ha couplets. That’s the beginning of my ghazal. The stanzas are not to be logically or chronologically connected or made into a story. The jump from stanza to stanza is to be magical, mystical, connected only by mind of writer, and for readers to make their own. As I’m trying to work true to form there is a wonderful tight lyrical and rhythmical rhyming pattern, and there are rarely more than 11 couplets. I’ll use this poem as an example. And will show you the 2nd part and of course the final version will be the third posted. There are god knows how many variations, drafts etc to finish. 


Lazy birds birds that can fly winter birds warm in the shed up and down twins abound I can’t tell
the difference one bird from another but others can they have books Murray you could

probably tell the difference between the mall but I never see a picture of you sitting you are
always standing and pointing here look at this here listen to this here we all are on an

amplified wire kick the birds do a little chorus line that’s what they look like a chorus line
they fly away here we have Hawks sometimes we have Eagles mostly we have Hawks fewer

crows than I was expecting which I think is a good thing I don’t like crows I’m still talking
can you see this so I can close my eyes uncapped the heaviness ask the cello in the Viola team

up the violins just pick out them just pick it though Little bird feet I think of my mother
and Murray Schafer how exasperated they would get with each other or would they

too much twittering this is twittering before there was Twitter tweeting before there was tweedell
how they do talk oh God I love the chiller therefore I could be an instrument be a

cello between the legs near the heat saxophone jello saxophone cello Oh my birds they
are dressed for the weather they are dressed for a scene in a Hitchcock movie but not that

Hitchcock movie I have seen winter birds gather around the outdoors of the psych health building at 771 Ballantyne
in Winnipeg they filled the trees in the wires there was many of

them likely crows Ravens blackbirds the birds were all black they were all felled
and they moved at once like a swarm of bees what did that have to portend as I went in and went out

of my appointment with doctor Robert Steinberg at 771 Bannatyne there were crows and I
can’t find the pictures on anything I took them with my iPad I took them with my eyes I can

remember ah they were on the edge of the building across the street I thought perhaps they
wanted to save me from joining the lunatics inside are ghost guarantying my getting in and

getting out and not getting a parking ticket something else Monday now there’s the word mundane
are birds mundane there some mundane burns ah around here I would say grouse

quail yeah my cute little birds that don’t fly much at all just scoot around on their little bird feet
going pee pee pee stupid birds ah but I can hear the lyricism in the music oh what

beautiful birds what beautiful birds and it’s called winter birds it’s not called birds on a wire
and it’s got nothing to do with Leonard Cohen they all join in it’s got nothing to do with

letter column they all join in this has got nothing to do with Leonard Cohen
they all join in the chat to the channel listened to the cello Bellow listened to the cello bell anyway let’s

move on i am getting kind of dizzy and i know I have another 6 minutes to go on talking
and they gather up and the word is thicket they are in the thicket thicket is a place for winter

birds not the wire a thicket I see them puffed up the damn quail with their little feet the browse grossing
alaa inshallah Allah here comes the melody love that beautiful beautiful

soprano violin it is so clear so bright the sun shines on my old Manitoba home
where it’s minus 37 Poland here it’s only minus 17 with the wind chill 20 degrees difference I’m glad

I’m here the winter birds are lucky to be in the thickets here lucky duby and the tickets here
for sure it’s warmer it’s warmer and the six feet of snow that’s in Manitoba how do birds live

with six feet of snow they stay on the wires they stay on the trees they find warm thickets
and stick to the thickets with a little bit of chirping and peeping and peeing and pooping and

nobody thinking about getting it on that time has not come no matter how romantic the
music here we have a conversation on dial on this team in this no no no do you mean this

now do you mean this now I don’t like questions I don’t like questions I don’t like question
marks I even hate question marks I don’t like question marks in writing I don’t like rhetorical

questions of you know the answer why ask ask only if you need to know something or if you
know somebody wants to tell you something and won’t unless you ask so you sigh I know

that they love you hey that’s a different style oh God how awkward it all is nobody really
wants to hurt anybody least of all winter birds they have few colours here but in some

places in Ontario where Murray Schafer lived you can get some pretty bright birds it’s never like
Australia but there are some Red Wing blackbirds and then there are some red and yellow

chested birds that I used to know the name of and can’t remember because I’m losing my
memory isn’t that terrible there used to be these birds that would come I would come to

delete um to the feeder the Blue Jays bully I haven’t heard him yet I suspect Maureen didn’t
have a whole lot of time for Blue Jays unless they were playing baseball here is Murray himself reading

about 20 or 30 below zero in Ontario thick with thickets and winter birds slacking
is Murray himself reading about 20 or 30 below zero in the long dark nights he reads the birds the only

sound the birds the only sound to be heard so much snow so much cold quiet quiet coyotes he says 2005 Indian River
who said 2005 Indian River this is a long way though from where I

Thought he lived why did he call it Indian River that’s where Jake McDonald wrote his book
or about maybe I need to mention Jake McDonald and this the way his head moved yeah so

you can throw a bone to Leonard but really I think the way Jake had to turn and Bob his
head and move his chin forward then he would fall down the stairs and I that he would fall

down the stairs seventy years old he was, dead they said in Mexico Jake who would
drive from Minaki for our writing workshop, he wrote about Julia and the Medicine Fish

I do not know if Jake wrote about birds I know Victor Cowie wrote and directed
And No Birds Sing( or Sang) at the University of Manitoba in 196Os he taught mne

in the 1970s what made literature literature using A Passage to India and I read
Waves, I read Ulysess, I read Mad Shadows, I read the Energy of Slaves.

Wolf, Joyce, Marie-Claire Blais and Leonard Cohen are dead you say but
I have their books in me and in mind in every crook and cranny their desire


 word count 1244

30 couplets from first listen

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