Poetry Friday: Spring Fever

Mar 15, 2019

In between winter and spring is Spring Fever. Many of us have it right now, including KNAU listener Rob Bettaso. His case of Spring Fever has been equal parts frustration and inspiration; first the late winter snow storms, then a poem inspired by them. Here's Rob with the latest installment of KNAU's Poetry Friday.

A Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Credit Fred Miranda

Rob Bettaso:

My name is Rob Bettaso, and I live in Lakeside, AZ on the Navajo County lands. When the big storm hit about 3 weeks ago, I was already mentally into spring. We had some frogs calling in the local ponds in the Lakeside area, and I thought winter was behind us. But then we got 2' of snow overnight that third week of February, and I realized that winter may be sticking around for awhile. 

The poem I wrote is called 'Kinglet Kingdom'. A Kinglet is a type of bird, and they're a winter resident in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. And when we had the big snow storm in late February, I had gone out cross country skiing in my neighborhood and when I got back, chipping away at one of the suet feeders I had put out on my gate,  was a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. So, I wrote this poem based on that experience. 

Kinglet Kingdom

By Rob Bettaso

 

 

Late winter’s blizzard,

Turns our forever drought,

Into a surplus of watery riches.

 

Arizona’s a dry land; impoverished.

Snow comes rarely,

And only high in the piney mountains.

 

I should be grateful,

And I am.

But.

I was spring dreaming,

Ahead of the storm.

 

Inspired by territorial songs,

Of robins and redwings reborn.

 

When over two feet of heavy snow

Falls,

It is everywhere,

Including hanging like a white sheet,

To the links of my Cyclone fence.

 

The gateway to my drive,

Now an opaque mask.

 

A shroud.

 

I’m home bound now,

Till the streets are plowed.

 

There are only two must-do’s:

 

Fill the bird feeders,

With seeds,

Of life.

 

And strap on skies,

To tour the entombed,

Deadened world.

 

Before swooshing into the drive,

I put suet feeder in a grated cage,

Hung from my front gate.

 

When I return from the toured whiteness,

Sweaty but shining,

There at the gate,

Awaits,

 

A mite of a bird,

The ruby-crowned dauphin.

 

It’s small clawed feet,

Woven through the grate,

The sliver of its beak,

Chipping chunks of fat,

Embedded with seeds.

Poetry Friday is produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris. If you have an idea for a segment, drop her an email at Gillian.Ferris@nau.edu.