Cedar Waxwing


Photo by Mark Seth Lender


Wings and Earth


A bird is a seed with wings
but the earth does not love her
she sprouts only by spreading her leaves
in skies plowed by the wind

—Eugen Jebeleanu (1911-91)
Translated by Radu Ioanid and Matthew Zapruder


Field Note


I woke up knowing: "Today I will see Cedar Waxwings." On the strength of which I took a long hike along the periphery of the marsh. Nothing. And I had been so sure. Then at the end walking down my own driveway there they were. The unconcern of birds when they are busy always amazes me. They were eating the dusted white and purple berries of the cedars, talking to themselves as if I wasn't there. Later they would spread the seeds, inadvertent sewers. New trees will grow but the wanderings of Cedar Waxwings are at random. Which newborn cedars they may visit is unpredictable. Except by an unpredictable intuition.  


Mark Seth Lender


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From Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems by Eugen Jebeleanu, translated by Radu Ioanid and Matthew Zapruder. Copyright 2008 by Tudor Jebeleanu and Florica Vieru. Reprinted with permission of translator.