Sunday, November 9, 2014

Last Night's Birds (A Poem)



I'm in a new space,
a childless house, its
pulse slowing, then silent.
There's a kinship with
the fading flowers, clustered
yet alone, muted in tone.
A feeling lingers, enveloping my heart,
like a flittering moth yearning for
the vast night's jar stars, and I,
the lonely watcher. Or, like the
maple tree in my back yard aching
for yesterday's birds and
those birds, in turn, searching
in vain for the air.

The November air hangs sharply
on the edges of burning leaves.
I rake up their withered flames, my
mother heart cracked lengthwise,
my memories wisping skywards, my
love mingling with the wood smoke.
I seek comfort from non-human things:
fungi blooming shyly on the forest floor,
glass ponds beckoning as mirrors.
I stoop to gather my words in the woods,
uprooted in tufts of pungent earth.
Hope's gentle hands hook gently
around my waist, holding me up as I
harvest my sorrow in gutted fields,
among pine needles and tree shadows.

Sherri Brannon ©2014

It's been quite awhile since I felt the urge to write, but this poem has been percolating for felt good to write about my empty nest feelings. My daughter is doing well and adjusting to her new life in New York City, and that makes me feel good. It really is true what they say: all a parent wants is for their kid to be happy! It's that simple.

Life is a whirlwind right now - it's a time of letting go while embracing new and exciting things. Isn't that the pattern of life? Oh yes, indeed.

Big changes are ahead and I will be incredibly busy for the next several months. We have decided to move to Florida earlier than planned and are now prepping our Virginia house for sale. We've lived in this house for 18 years so there's a whole lot of de-cluttering and home improvements going on! We are downsizing in a huge way. I will post occasionally if I can, but I'll mostly be taking a blog break at least through the holiday season. Life sure keeps you on your toes, doesn't it?

My photo was taken with my iPhone...another lovely landscape capture while on a country drive. I will miss the back roads of Virginia so much when we leave! I used both the Distressed FX and Stackable apps to get the painterly texture (and birds) in the image.

Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Oh! best wishes. Al l your pictures are wonderful and this is too amazing one and the poem is a delight to read.

  2. A house does build up so many memories, doesn't it? Your daughter now settled elsewhere, and you preparing for a big move. I can definitely feel the reflectiveness in your words. Best wishes on your move, and hope to see your poetry again after the holidays.

  3. I enjoyed the wistful tone of your poem and how your mood is reflected in these November burning leaves. Your photo is stunning, Sherri!

  4. The changes that an empty house gives is much like those November trees longing for the weight of fowls.. I like it a lot how you have used the nature around you to create that image.. hope your move to Florida will bring lots of new impressions...

  5. "I stoop to gather my words in the woods" an enriching experience reflected in the best wishes are with you :)

  6. oh that feels familiar... my kids have moved out as well and the house feels big and silent.. we were pondering what to do and decided to stay here for the moment, re-modeling, painting, moving rooms... it's exciting...smiles
    all the best for your move!!!!

  7. What a beautiful post, from glorious photo, to spectacular poem, to your notes. I so hear the "mother heart" in your poem. I remember those times when the last chick had flown.......especially loved the lines "my
    mother heart cracked lengthwise, my memories wisping skywards, my love mingling with the wood smoke." and "I harvest my sorrow in gutted fields, among pine needles and tree shadows." I love the taking comfort in non-human things. So do I. A beautiful poem. I wish you all good things with your big move. Look forward to you posting once you are able to. We must hear all about the progress of selling your house and finding yourself in your new surroundings. I look forward to it.

  8. Someday I'll feel that. I hope its mild.

  9. Beautifully done such wonderful tones.

  10. So many vivid images of my favorites: ' flittering moth yearning for
    the vast night's jar stars' make the quite connection between human and non-human things in your special beautiful way.~ Have a smooth transition to Florida~ See you soon blogging back :)x

  11. Congrats on your decision to move to Florida. I am sure you will be happy there, although leaving that house and all its memories will be very hard. I always try to keep in the back of my mind the idea of downsizing, so that I can somewhat stay on top of all the "stuff".

  12. i love your poem Sherri and totally can connect with the feelings here. I want to say though that there is much more to come in the future with your daughter. There is a time when girls leave home that you sort of feel like "all is gone ", and kids have a period where there sort of disconnect, and you think they are gone... but the come back to you renewed and in a different way. So much closeness when they marry and have children. Your role then is renewed and last forever in such a meaningful way. One role closes , so to speak, and then is reborn in a totally new way. Hugs to you! I remember this phase of my life very welll!

  13. Love the imagery of unburdening and yearning which contrast sharply in this otherwise restful poem.

  14. Well written. I still get waves of "Missing them" when I think of that wonderful time raising my family and all that life, full to the brim. But, alas as we know they are where we want them to be as they share, now, their life apart from (us) me.

  15. Best wishes, Sherri I hope all will go well with your preparations. I'm looking forward to seeing your Florida photos when you move.

  16. Sherri, I'll be a little sad that you moved from Virginia before I had the chance to meet you face-to-face, but I am happy for you that you will be living in the warm and sunny Florida. My youngest son will be headed off to college next fall, and my nest will be empty, too. He loves NY and is looking at colleges there - among a long list others. Love your soothing image for today - and so glad we'll be able to stay in touch by way of our blogs!