Like a Nuthatch

What wouldn’t you give
for that peanutty feast –
something of your shyness
at the very least?

For you have valor,
obvious in your stance,
blue-gray caped crusader
eyes fixed in a glance.

Long-billed and short-tailed,
you observe from your perch,
impatient for my hand
to shorten your search.

While head over ‘heels’
you see nothing absurd
in making a descent
to reach what’s preferred.

And then there are times
you also move sideways
with strong toes and claws that
gravity obeys.

Your voice is distinct,
tiny horns on the wind,
red-breast hardly counting
your breaths out and in.

You have a technique
that seems topsy-turvy
but finds more delights than
others more nervy.

Tapping each crevice
you find grubs and insects
that many high climbers
routinely do miss.

Despite your short wings
you lift off with some pluck
to prove, after all, you
know which way is up.

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

This post by countingducks so resonated with me and urged me to share – as it speaks to how insignificance can be most significant, how we can truly and generously affect the world in gentle and kind ways, by being pure in heart and spirit. This is not idealism, but real possibility. I hope you will take the time to read and explore more of countingducks’ blog.


I did not know her well. In fact I only met her once. Already immobile and living in a chair. That was about a year ago. Her husband had that patient nurturing quality which is always so impressive to me . “Its her turn to be looked after now” he said, and it was clear that he had to do everything for her:  cooking cleaning, moving her in and out of bed, bathing and anything else you could think of. He was proud to do it. He treasured her time with him. It wasn’t  more complicated than that.

Now she’s gone. She died this weekend and here we were, in the evening, sitting with a few of the relatives and people who knew him. He sat there just the same. Gentle, unassuming and with no sense of drama in his bearing. Losing her was the work of fate and he…

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Award Acknowledgements and Repost: Yeats Warned Me

Time has been getting away from me lately, and I apologize for being behind on acknowledging your visits, and reading and commenting on your posts. Once more I am resorting to a repost, one that rather reflects my mood of late, and I trust will offer more in the way of hope than regret to all those who read it for the first and second time.

I would like to make a specific and belated thank you to Susan Moffat (Writing Glimmers – a collection of original poetry and prose) for nominating me for One Lovely Blog Award, and to the London Flower Lover  who nominated me for the Reality Award. Please visit their wonderful sites as soon as you can, and, perhaps, also sample some of the other blogs they nominated.

I am so grateful to everyone who has encouraged and supported my writing and artwork, and who befriended me sight unseen. I award all of you my heartfelt wishes for health and happiness!

As I grow older
I become
lost in youthfulness.
The sky draws darker
starry innocence
while water
at its deepening
appears less troubled,
and leaves fall
fast into winter
full of sleep
yet not so gray as
the sun comes closer.
Most poets
love the shadows deep,
pilgrim souls
the wandering days
changing everything
and nothing.
But Yeats warned me
of regret,
I’ve been waiting
and expecting it
as prickly
as the thistle down
and out of
time for murmuring
how love did escape
to will more
of life in its wake.

Writing note: Here is the poem that prompted mine… 

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)  

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Thank you, Rae, for your generous reflection on my novel! Please, everyone, have a wander over to Rae’s blog which includes her publication links (of her own excellent poetry), some of her favorite poems, and other interesting reflections.

Rae Spencer

A House Near Luccoli: A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th Century Genoa by DM Denton (All Things That Matter Press, 2012)

Every facet of this book is wrapped in beautiful language. The plot and setting, characters and pace, all live within layers of poetry:

“…Nonna blamed a tendency to malinconia on her granddaughter’s English side with too much rain in her blood. As if climate could be inherited…” (pg 20)

“She wanted to show ability beyond the ladylike diversion of scribbling thoughts or painting in a journal, obsessing over the responsibility for something greater than nothing better to do.” (pg 35)

“She hoped they would be early or late to avoid scrutiny, but they were on time for her to be judged as an unescorted woman passing through a hall made for giants…” (pg 71)

I know very little about classical music or opera, and even less…

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Nature Insight: Ready or Not

Berries ripened, hips turned yellow to red;

mushrooms appeared so clean in the grass;

and still a flowering here and there, 

as if spring was in the air

not winter on our minds.

But when the leaves turn colors,

the wind turns cold and brings them down …

… before we, at least,  are ready.

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Announcement: Comments Are Now Open on My Last Post

Thanks for all the views and likes of my last post, A Home for Oscar. I apologize that somehow the comments were closed on it. They are now open and I would love to have your feedback. It is always nice to hear the voices of my blogging friends!

And since you’re here: a little mouse wanted to say hello, too …

Copyright 2011 by DM Denton


©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

A Home for Oscar

What was your story before it became mine? Before each appearance out of the woods surrounding the yard where I also prowled, feeding the birds you glanced at with respect and filling the little shell-shaped birdbath that had become your drinking habit. A rainless summer offered a bed of last year’s leaves for afternoon naps, the sundial surrounded by withering sedum and aging lavender a place to sit, wash your gray but youthful face, and wonder if I would leave you food before I disappeared. You entered further and further into my hospitality, trusting the door would stay open for leaving.
I wasn’t convinced that food was all you came for. Yet so many nights I shut you out—yes, tried to forget how lonely it was for you, how frightening, and what harm would come to you,  and that, like other strays, I would never touch you and, eventually, never see you again.
Where was your heart before it won mine, broken or unclaimed? Either way I understood how love’s absence encouraged you to wander my way, the moment your eyes revealed their gentle blue, pleading but not too much. Do you need a home? I asked expecting you would tell me. Your words were incomprehensible but understood; your patience was more certain than mine, your answer waiting for mine.
A necessary moment of capture: you panicked, were wild and confused, the door closed on the life you may or may not have chosen. Soon you were stilled into acceptance and readiness; you let me stroke your ears and rub your nose, although not to make it easy to put you in a cage.
How soon you forgave me. How quickly you were family, another lad to watch grow and learn—a teacher, too: soft, pure, playful, and ever insistent that I should be so.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.