Four Tao philosophers as cedar waxwings
chat on a February berry bush
in sun, and I am one.
Such merriment and such sobriety–
the small wild fruit on the tall stalk–
was this not always my true style?
Above an elegance of snow, beneath
a silk-blue sky a brotherhood of four
birds. Can you mistake us?
To sun, to feast, and to converse —
and all together — for this I have abandoned
all my other lives.
~ poem “Waxwings” by Robert Francis
American poet Robert Francis lived for most of his adult life in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 1940, he purchased a half-acre of wooded land on Market Hill Road and built a small, one-person house in the woods there. He named it “Fort Juniper“ in honor of the common pasture juniper (Juniperus communis); it served as his home until his death. Continue reading