Birds in the feeder…


The Underworld
by Sharon Bryan

When I lived in the foothills
birds flocked to the feeder:

house finches, goldfinches,
skyblue lazuli buntings,

impeccably dressed chickadees,
sparrows in work clothes, even

hummingbirds fastforwarding
through the trees. Some of them

disappeared after a week, headed
north, I thought, with the sun.

But the first cool day
they were back, then gone,

then back, more reliable
than weathermen, and I realized

they hadn’t gone north at all,
but up the mountain, as invisible

to me as if they had flown
a thousand miles, yet in reality

just out of sight, out of reach—
maybe at the end of our lives

the world lifts that slightly
away from us, and returns once

or twice to see if we’ve refilled
the feeder, if we still remember it,

or if we’ve taken leave
of our senses altogether.

Sharon Bryan, “The Underworld” from Sharp Stars. © 2009 by Sharon Bryan. Used with permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of BOA Editions Ltd.,

Letting Jesus in…

JN992 Kingdom of God Like Mustart Seed


The farm wife turns off the TV evangelist
by Shari Wagner

The Jesus I grew up with
likes to be outside.
If he’s not fishing, he’s picking figs
or showing us his mustard crop.
He prefers dusty roads, the common sparrow,
and lilies of the field.
When he knocks on your door
holding a lantern, you know it’s time
to buckle on overshoes
and go with him to feed the sheep.
But this preacher, who looks straight
into the camera and claims he knows
Jesus, says what he wants
is for me to believe in him
so he can come inside.
That sounds shifty to me.
Like a wolf with his paws dipped in flour.
Jesus who heals the blind
said we will know a tree by its fruit.
“The farm wife turns off the TV evangelist” by Shari Wagner from The Farm Wife’s Almanac. © Dream Seeker Books, 2019


What was Jesus’ plan for Buddy Holly?

It’s the birthday of singer and songwriter Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holly, born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1936. By the age of 13, Holly was playing what he called “Western Bop” at local clubs. He was 19 when an agent discovered him and signed him to a contract with Decca records. The following year, Holly returned to Lubbock and, with three friends, formed The Crickets, who then released “That’ll Be the Day,” which sold more than a million copies. Buddy Holly’s career was short: He died in February of 1959 in a plane crash in northern Iowa. Soon after, an English band that admired The Crickets decided to call themselves The Beatles.

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