bird étude 4 corvid heart beating

Corvid heart beating
Raucous—quick-witted—loyal
Always questioning
Never doubting—I’d call you
Cocksure—but you’re pure crow

AGG20130418
Photographs by Eileen Lavery

All the études may be viewed here.

To see only the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, please click here.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

Depth Charge: “Out of the 810 species of North American birds, only two are completely black: the American Crow and the Common Raven.”  Why the Crow Is Black from BirdNote

bird étude 3 turning away (farewell, Yukon)

turning away
(farewell, Yukon)

the morning sun was hot
and bright and cruel

words which could have been
a gain or loss of beauty

birds killing butterflies
beside the cold river

AGG19860710
(AGG20130407 redux)

I left the Yukon in July of 1986 and, even though it has been more than a quarter-of-a-century and I have never been back, images and experiences from that time are still vivid in my mind.

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

bird étude 2 the longest day

The Longest Day
(Summer Solstice, Yukon)
for M.S.

The stars are absent, now,
a multitude of impossible patterns,
replaced by one brightness
shining sun-circle constant.

I will linger in the northwest
while you follow the light east,
go back through the mountains
which invited us to climb them,
kiss their deceptive smoothness,
revel in their cracks and wrinkles,
caress with hand and tongue
ancient fire bones laid bare.

If we surmount these challenges,
ascend, it will be to separate
peaks though different pasts.

So, today, before you left,
I scaled a small bluff,
little feet of these mountains,
found wildrose petals
whose soft scent will gentle fade,
and offered them to you.

AGG19860621
(AGG20130407 redux)

Impossible love takes us to places we never imagined going, so I found myself alone in the Yukon in 1986.

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

bird étude 1 two different worlds

AGG1988-Two-Different-Worlds

Depth Charge: This poem originates from notes I took during my stay in the Yukon, 1986-87. I was obsessed with making poems that could be read in multiple ways. There are at least five ways to read this poem; one, a straight-foreward, left-to-right, top to bottom reading; two though four, read each “column” separately from top-to-bottom, I have bolded the middle “column” for ease of reading; and, five, don’t read it at all.

Almost twenty years after writing this poem, I read Zhang Zai’s Western Inscription for the first time and was struck with the parallel’s between what Rae was saying and what Zhang Zai had written, although the cultural contexts could not be more different, and I remembered this poem. The Western Inscription keeps popping up in my writing.

Links about the Tlingit in the Yukon:

Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre
George Johnston Museum
Also, search for George Johnston Museum on Facebook

All the études may be viewed here.

If you’d like to view the poetry and writing that is not tanka, or tanka related, please click here. 

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”